PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s Cyber Monday, the day when shoppers head to the internet to scoop up those online bargains from retailers and other sellers.
Abbe Forman, an assistant professor of computer and information sciences at Temple University, says there’s a basic buying principle that carries from the material world into the cyber world:
“The scams are out there and the bad guys are out there. There are a few things you need to keep in mind like if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. That’s an old adage and it remains true online as well.”
For those who are trying to shop online for the first time Forman says pay attention when you’re finalizing a purchase and preparing to enter a credit card number:
“In the address bar, if it goes from ‘http’ to ‘https’ it is telling you that they’re using some kind of a secure transaction. Also, you want to look for the little lock on the bottom of your screen which also indicates a secure transaction. They’re actually telling you that there’s encryption in use between the client and the server.”
Forman also says to be careful about sharing too much information about yourself when filling out those online forms:
“If they don’t need to have your phone number, then don’t give them your phone number because eventually you will get phone calls. Keep it at the barest minimum you can get away with when you fill out information forms online.”
Forman also suggests using PayPal for your transactions if you don’t feel comfortable giving up your credit card numbers.
Reported by: Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio