It's Cyber-Monday, the traditional kickoff to online holiday shopping. It's also a day to be smart about avoiding online shopping scams. Here are some tips from consumer groups and online safety companies:
1) Make sure the website address starts with an https, not http, says McAfee security expert Robert Siciliano in a recent blog. The letter "s" indicates encryption is being used to protect your information.
2) Check the site's URL. Be sure it's BestBuy.com, not BestBuyz.com. Scammers sometimes change a single letter to lure you to a fake site.
3) Don't make online purchases from your laptop using a public WiFi connection, such as in a coffee shop. Hackers in public locations can tap into your computer to steal information or cause havoc.
4) Use a credit card. You'll have better protection and an easier time disputing any fraudulent charges. Print your online shopping receipts and check them against your credit card's monthly statements.
5) Beware of Facebook and other social media scams, especially when checking in via your mobile phone, says the National Consumers League. Be wary of clicking on holiday deals, gifts, giveaways and promotions that may pop up on your phone.