Internet experts and local law enforcement are warning customers to be cautious when logging on for Cyber Monday shopping deals. Scott Nguyen with the Geek Squad says phishing has become the biggest trend in scamming shoppers looking for good buys.
"For example if someone sends you an email that says go check out this deal, or you are on a webpage that has a link on it to an external website, you want to be very careful about those because they are the easiest ways to get a virus," says Nguyen.
The Geek Squad also insists you take a close look at the web address. If there is an 's' before the 'http' in your address line, that means the website is safe and secure.
The University of Arizona police department has issued this list of tips for safe shopping online.
• Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of a link from an unsolicited e-mail. This includes forwarded messages from someone on your contact list.
• If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
• Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and keep up with the security updates to prevent viruses and malicious programs from infecting your computer.
• If you suspect your computer has a virus, have it serviced immediately from a trusted source.
• Make purchases using websites with secure connections. Look for websites that use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security which protects your personal information. Check the browser's status bar for an unbroken "padlock" icon that indicates the sites is using SSL.
• Use your credit card instead of debit card when making a purchase. Credit cards offer added protection from fraudulent transactions.
• Avoid using websites asking for an "electronic check". This will require you provide your bank routing number and your entire checking account number.
• Never use your Social Security Number to make online purchases. A legitimate retailer or website will never ask for your Social Security Number.
• Use passwords that are difficult to decipher. A strong password should be 8 to 14 characters in length, with alphanumeric and special characters. Your login name and password should never be the same.
Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.