Cyber Monday safety tips for online shopping

Posted at 8:05 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-29 14:41:27-05

BRYAN, Texas — Cyber Monday brings many consumers to shop logging into multiple websites where passwords could become compromised.

As Cyber Monday follows the Black Friday deals, this holiday season with inflation, consumers are all about finding the best online deals safely.

“One of the key things I tell people is to not reuse passwords, so don’t use the same password at Best Buy as you use at Amazon as you use at your bank, because if one of these companies gets compromised, they get that password, they’re going to try it at other websites and see if it works there too,” said Martin Carlisle, computer science professor.

“The online password thing like whenever you shop online like you have accounts for different websites and I guess you don’t really think about if it is compromised and if your information is safe or not when you’re shopping online which I really didn’t think about until you said,” said Paige Wiederhold, Texas A&M student.

Professor Martin Carlisle said a long password is better than a password full of characters.

“If you write your passwords down, it is unlikely somebody is in your house looking at that piece of paper,” said Carlisle. “It’s much more likely if you have bad passwords and they’ll be able to guess them.”

According to the U.S. News and World Report for holiday shopping, 69 percent of U.S. consumers plan to spend less on holiday gifts this year compared to last year due to inflation, and 47 percent plan to do less holiday shopping this year compared to last year.

“In the past, it used to be like a wait in line to see what you can get but I feel like lately, the deals have been what you can get any time so there’s not much of a hurry or rush to get there,” said Wiederhold.

Professor Carlisle said to be on the lookout for suspicious emails claiming you have purchased something.

“Emails that come in saying that you’ve bought something right, and you say 'well I didn’t buy that' and they say well 'oh if there’s a problem, call our customer service line and here’s their number,” said Carlisle. “They want you to call that line because then they’re going to try and get your personal information.”

This holiday season, consumers are switching up their spending and shopping habits, impacting how people shop.

While it’s important to safely shop online, some prefer the ease of transaction.

U.S. News and World Report also says that 64 percent of U.S. consumers planned to shop on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get the best deals.

“I would choose online because you can look up what you are specifically wanting to instead of walking around and getting distracted by other things in person and you don’t have to really deal with the crowd or like the checking out process online,” said Travis Puckett, Texas A&M student.

He also recommends using your credit card for online purchases versus your debit card for higher security purposes.