Cyber Monday shopping poses a double shock to your finances. Not only is it a temptation to overspend your budget, but it can put your personal data at risk as you surf the web for the best deals.
To keep your bank account safe however you spend the Thanksgiving weekend, take a look at these online tips. From classic good money management tips to more specific cyber security advice, this guide will help you stay safe this holiday shopping season.
Don’t Tap into Credit to Cash into Sales
Last year, shoppers broke records by spending a collective $7.9 billion on the big day. And forecasts show the nation may hit another high this year.
With notifications like, “there’s only one more item left in stock”, it’s easy to set a personal record, too.
With a line of credit or credit card lining your pockets, it’s a simple thing of getting what you want, even if you don’t have the budget for that irresistible deal.
But is that justification to overspend?
Financial institutions like CreditFresh caution against using online line of credit loans as budget boosters during holiday shopping. Tapping into your line of credit limit on Cyber Monday may not be the best use of your funds.
Generally, a financial institution like CreditFresh has options you should check out only when unexpected emergency expenses prove too much for your savings.
While shopping may not fit the bill, the cost of stitching up your hand after a turkey-carving mishap might.
Shop from a Safe Place
In your quest for cheap presents, you might be dismayed to realize that free Wi-Fi is more abundant than free gifts. Nearly every store offers its own network on top of the mall’s wireless Internet.
This may be a boon to those looking to cut back on their data usage to free up more cash this holiday. But think twice about logging on these networks to do your shopping.
Most free Wi-Fi offered by stores is unprotected or unsecured. This means anyone within range can hop on, and anyone with a little cunning can spy on your browsing session.
To keep your passwords and account numbers safe from prying eyes, wait to make a purchase until you’re back on your home network.
Visit Trusted Apps and Websites
With just a flick of your thumb or a click of the mouse this November, you can check in on your banking, compare deals, and send off an email without leaving home.
But all your scrolling may get you into hot water if you follow deals to the dark corners of the web. If you take a wrong turn, you may be unknowingly exposing your personal information.
Before you type in your credentials and complete your order, take stock of the business.
Is it a familiar name? If it isn’t, put the business into a search and check the online reviews. See what others have said about their customer service.
You should also check the website for their contact information and return policy. Scams tend to have this information missing from their site map.
As for apps, do a similar background check and always make sure you download from the official app stores.
Cyber Monday acts as a starters pistol to a very long holiday shopping season. Make sure you chase after deals in a safe way, so you can reach the finish line with your finances intact.