Protecting your personal information this Cyber Monday

Experts are predicting 78-million Americans will click their way to savings on Cyber Monday but with all that online shopping comes the risk of getting hacked.

The holiday shopping season is already off to a record-setting start thanks to a busy Black Friday but before you log on to your computer and take advantage of all those Cyber Monday deals you should make sure you are secure.

While millions of Americans will search the internet for the best bargains this Cyber Monday crooks are also on the prowl looking to nab your personal information.

"Take precautions, do those simple security things that you know you need to do to prevent yourself from being victimized," said Lt. Mark Hudson.

With more people turning to their laptops and smartphones to do all their holiday shopping, Kayleena Speakman with the Better Business Bureau recommends using only secure websites.

You are safe if the web address starts with https and has a lock symbol in the URL bar.

"Make sure the website is in HTTPS form, that 'S' stands for secure so it's not as easily hackable," said Speakman.

Experts also warn against taking advantage of free Wi-Fi hotspots and using your debit card to make online purchases.

"Do not use public Wi-Fi because that can be hacked and when paying make sure you use a credit card and not your debit card because if you use a credit card and something happens it's easier to dispute the fraud and get your money back," explains Speakman.

Last year, 16,000 victims of credit card fraud in the US collectively lost close to 50-million dollars according to the FBI.

Many hackers will spoof a popular website's email to look legitimate and send it out to a mass amount of people.

"Someone's bound to shop at these websites, they're going to click on this email, it's going to say something like there was a problem with your credit card info or please sign into your address all over again so they can get access to your account."

While hackers may be out there looking to rip you off the best thing you can do to protect yourself this holiday season is to pay attention.

Lt. Hudson said, "If you become a victim of a crime certainly report that to police but again this is a preventable crime where you can take these simple measures to make sure you don't become victimized today on Cyber Monday."

Experts also recommend using strong passwords and try not to repeat passwords on the various websites you might use.
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