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By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Did you do any online shopping on Monday?  If not, practically everyone else did.   In fact, for the third year in a row Cyber Monday was expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year.  Americans were expected to spend $1.5 billion dollars on Monday.  So 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan offers his annual advice so you can shop safely.

Some 72 million Americans say they’ll do some holiday shopping from the office this year.

When shopping online:

  • Confirm a website is secure before entering any information. look for an “s” after “h-t-t-p” in the URL.
  • Paying with a credit card will offer more protections than debit.
  • Check statements regularly to make sure the only charges are ones you’ve made.
  • Keep a record of order confirmations and receipts with a designated folder in your inbox or with an app like “slice.”

Speaking of apps, with a boom in mobile and more and more consumers shopping from smartphones and tablets, those who shop on-the-go need to be especially careful.

  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi, only secure connections.
  • Lock devices with a password so data is protected even when your phone is out of your hands.
  • Work with apps from trusted sources.

Adding another incentive for Cyber Monday shopping, the National Retail Federation says about four in ten retailers offered free shipping, with no conditions attached.

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