Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are often thought of as the greatest shopping days of the year, the day when you can find deals on almost every item on your list. Unfortunately, this also means waking up before dawn during the holidays, standing in long lines and fighting crowds, none of which is very fun or festive.
The good news is there is always Cyber Monday, where you can simply use your computer or tablet to score those great deals from all your favorite stores in the comfort of your home or office. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you enjoy holiday shopping on Cyber Monday.
Shop from a Secure Computer and Connection
One of the most important things you can do when doing your holiday shopping online is to use a secure computer and a secure connection. If your computer isn’t protected with trustworthy security software, there is a high risk of being compromised by malware. This means all the data you enter, including your personal information, bank accounts and credit-card numbers, will be at risk. If an attacker gets control of the network or uses hacking software, they can easily steal your information for their own personal gain. To ensure websites are safe, make sure all browser addresses you’re using begin with “HTTPS.”
Only Use Trusted Vendors
It’s possible for any website to be attacked by hackers, but shopping only with trusted and established vendors will limit your exposure and reduce the risk of being redirected to fake sites. There are massive amounts of deals available on Cyber Monday, but keep in mind that if a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for low prices, but if possible, compare the prices from two or three different stores to make sure the “bargain” you find is a legitimate one. When paying for your purchases, it is best to use a credit card instead of a bank account because the credit card company is usually more apt to investigate should you file a fraud report for purchases you did not make.
Prepare a List and Budget
Before Cyber Monday arrives, take the time to create a holiday shopping list that includes the name of the gift recipient and how much you want to spend. Having a prepared list will help save you time and money while allowing you to search only for the items you have listed. It’s also helpful to search online stores a few days before Cyber Monday to verify which store has the items you’re looking for.
Whether you are in the process of recovery or are searching for gifts for friends and family who are in recovery, visit My 12 Step Store for a large variety of unique gifts and we offer a gift-wrapping option with a greeting card.