Cyber Monday is here and ranks as the heaviest shopping day of the season. Even more shoppers are expected to shop online year and although a record 85 percent of retailers will offer special sales today, it’s best to buy from a retailer you know and trust.

The Better Business Bureau recommends the follow 'Do’s and Don’ts' for shopping online this holiday season to help fight unscrupulous online retailers, scammers and hackers and help you shop in peace:


Protect your computer – it should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.

Shop with X-Ray Vision – Keep in mind web sites can go up today and be gone tomorrow. Check for the seller’s BBB rating, online reputation and record for customer satisfaction.  If you can’t find trustworthy information – move on.

Protect your personal information – Scammers are waiting for you to enter personal information into their phony sites and run off with it. Read the site’s privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn’t one posted, take that as a red flag.

Confirm your online purchase is secure – Always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.

Pay with a credit card – It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don’t receive the item. Your also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on your credit card.


Fall for deals that sound too good to be true – Always go with your instincts and don't be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost you in the end.

Give into phishing scams – Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If you receive such an e-mail,call the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm there really is a problem.

Lose track of your documents - Save a copy of the web page where you made the purchase and any e-mails for future reference.

Wait for paper statements - Check your credit card statements often, especially during the holiday season.  Make sure you're only being charged for the purchases you made.