Cyber Monday Warning: 5 Tips to Keep You Safe

Thieves targeting online holiday shoppers

While you're shopping for Christmas gifts this year, scam artists are shopping for you.

"The cybercriminals think it's bonus time for them," said Jeff Debrosse with ESET Virus Protection

Debrosse said that as online traffic increases around the holidays, thieves troll the web looking for victims.

"They're trying to mix in their illicit businesses with the legitimate business," said Debrosse.

Here are our Five Tips for Cyber Monday from ESET:

1. Beware of unsolicited e-mails offering special deals and promotions. They are often ploys to get credit card and other personal information.  If you don't know the people behind the e-mail, delete it.

2.  Shop at reputable websites. If you don't know the site, and your friends don't know the site, you may want to skip it.  This is not the time to type your credit card information on a website you've never heard of just to save money on an iPad or cell phone. Thieves can make up phony sites to steal your money.

3. Use a credit card with a low limit. It might be worth getting a credit or debit card only for online shopping.  Make sure it has a low credit limit so you are less exposed to criminals.

4. Don't click on the link. Any e-mail that comes with a link could be sending you to trouble. It may look like it's coming from your bank but don't you believe it.  It's more likely that it's a phishing scam trying to get your financial information. You're better off going directly to your bank and searching the website for information.

5. Look for encrypted websites. Before you pay for an item, make sure the address in the browser starts with "https" and not just "http".  The "https" encrypts the information such as credit card numbers.

While this is valuable information for the holidays, it's actually a best practice for safe shopping year around.

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