Next to Black Friday, Cyber Monday has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It caps off the Thanksgiving weekend that includes Small Business Saturday. Here are some Cyber Monday shopping tips to help you get the best deals while keeping safe shopping online.

Related Article: Preparing for Small Business Saturday

According to Entrepreneur, Cyber Monday started back in the dial-up days. Those slow, home internet connections prompted many to wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday to use the faster work computers to place online orders. Retailers quickly realized another shopping holiday was born and began offering “Cyber Monday” deals.

Related Article: Black Friday Shopping Tips

Check Out Deals

Expect big discounts on televisions, computers, clothes, entertainment items and game consoles. Don’t overlook small retailers and manufacturers that will be offering their own Cyber Monday specials.

Many retailers offer loyalty cards and membership programs that will add to the savings of purchases. Credit cards also offer rewards and bonuses for shopping at select storefronts.

Shopping Safely Online

When shopping online, you need to keep your credit card information safe. Complete Home Spa offers these tips for shopping online.

  1. Use your own devices – When using public or even work computers, you run the risk of malware and other information capturing software.
  2. Lock it up – Look for the “https” and lock symbol in the URL that will ensure a secure website.
  3. Register early – In the days before Cyber Monday, determine what websites you plan to shop on and register and create an account. This avoids being redirected to a fake site by cyber criminals during the Cyber Monday rush.
  4. Create unique passwords – Create a complex and unique password for each site. Should a site get hacked, a criminal won’t be able to use your password to access your accounts on other sites.
  5. Bad links – There are many fake apps and websites to scam online shoppers. Make sure you are on a retailer’s official website and app. Red flags include unusual extensions, buttons that don’t work or a bad UI (user interface). Download apps from trusted sources such as Google Store or iTunes.
  6. Hold on to receipts – Create a folder and keep all order confirmations and receipts there. A great feature of online shopping is the buyer receives an email notification of an order, including shipping and purchase info.
  7. Monitor bank/credit card activity – Keep an eye on your bank and credit card activity as you shop and in the days after. You can sign up for alerts through your bank and credit card online accounts that will let you know of a suspicious purchase.
  8. If it looks too good to be true… – Be leery of offers that seem to be just too good. These typically are the work of cyber criminals.

These Cyber Monday shopping tips will make your shopping experience fun and safe. Happy shopping!