Online shopping has skyrocketed during the pandemic and officials are warning you to keep online shopping safety at the top of your mind.
According to the National Retail Federation, 60% of consumers say they plan to purchase holiday items online this year.
This trend played out on Black Friday and so far on Cyber Monday.
“Cyber Monday 2020 is shaping up to be the biggest shopping holiday, online shopping day of the entire year, estimates are expected to reach upwards of $12 to $13 billion in sales, just today,” said Sara Skirboll with online platform RetailMeNot.
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And it is a trend that shopping experts say could continue.
“More people want to shop online to be safe, they want to avoid the pandemic, they want to be able to stay with friends and family and shop from the comfort of their own couch when they are not working,” Skirboll said.
But with more people shopping online, officials are asking you to take precautions.
Both the Miami-Dade Police Department and Florida’s Attorney General’s Office sent out warnings on Cyber Monday asking consumers to take precautions to protect their personal information while shopping online.
A recent study from the Better Business Bureau shows so far in 2020, nearly 40% of all reports to the BBB Scam Tracker were related to online purchase scams.
So what can you do to stay safe?
Experts suggest paying with a credit card or Paypal, according to the BBB report. Those who paid using these methods were less likely to lose money.
Also, your personal information is vulnerable on sites that aren’t secure, so look for a lock symbol in your browser address bar.
You should also try to online shop at home and from a secure network.
“Whenever you are shopping online always use a credit card, try to avoid a debit card, be careful with the emails you get in, maybe some spam text, go directly from the site or known site,” Norman Fong with online platform BUYVIA said.
The National Retail Federation estimates 91% of shoppers are planning to take advantage of free shipping.
Fong suggests ordering early if you want your item to arrive by Christmas.
“Supply chains, because of the pandemic, things have slowed down in Asia companies cannot get enough inventory, things will go out of stock...you need to move fast to ensure you get what you want,” Fong said.