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How to navigate Cyber Monday safely for the best deals online

Posted at 7:30 AM, Nov 23, 2016

Just days after the madness of Black Friday, the virtual madness will really begin on Cyber Monday. If you're shopping at Walmart, they're starting their Cyber Monday sales online at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 25. Most retailers will start their online deals at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. 

Walmart is trying to go head to head with one of their biggest competitors, Amazon.com. The superstore has nearly tripled their online products from 8 million to 23 million. It will take a lot to compete with Amazon's 353 million products. 

No matter where you plan on shopping online on Monday (or Friday morning, if you're shopping Walmart.com), you need to be prepared and most importantly, you need to be safe. 

MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE

Be ready, start making your list now and start compiling all promo codes you see that you plan on using for your items. 

Always read the fine print about an item and the shipping information. 

SHOP ON SECURE SITES

Always shop from a trusted site through a trusted browser like Google Chrome. There are a lot of fake shopping sites out there, always look for the Green Padlock Icon before the URL to be sure that you're shopping on a secure website. The lock means that the site has been verified by a trusted third-party authority and it has a valid certificate for the URL. 

If there is a Yellow Exclamation Point in front of the URL, that's not ideal for online shopping. That means that the website has not provided the browser you're viewing it in, with a certificate. 

If there is a Lock Icon with Yellow Triangle, that means that the site has weak security, proceed with caution because your connection may not be private. 

If there is a Red Padlock Icon, just don't shop there. That means there are issues with the site's certificate. Use extreme caution and don't enter any personal data or financial information.

SAVE ORDER CONFIRMATIONS

Make sure you save all of the email confirmations of your orders, but to be safe, take screenshots of your order confirmations and save them in a folder on your desktop so that they are easily accessible for you to open up if something happens to your order. 

DON'T GET SCAMMED OUT OF YOUR CASH

'Tis the season for holiday hackers. If you find that you're spending more than $100 on your items, better be safe than sorry and use a credit card so that your debit card attached to your checking account doesn't get drained by a hacker or scammer. Always use virus-detection and keep that pop-up ad blocker on in your browser. Always monitor your credit and your accounts after shopping online. 

WHEN SHOULD YOU LOG ON? 

Most online retailers open their Cyber Monday deals up at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. Some are starting early, so just visit your favorite sites and take note of when they plan to go live with their deals. 

WHAT KIND OF DEALS SHOULD YOU EXPECT? 

Cyber Monday is set to be one of the biggest shopping days of the year. But what makes it so much better than Black Friday? Most of the time there are extra coupons online and most retailers offer free shipping. Last year, Target offered a 15% off site wide coupon for Cyber Monday, plus free shipping. So there's a good possibility a coupon and shipping deals could show up this year. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU SHOP FOR? 

Cyber Monday offers a lot of great deals on clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags, jewelry and more. There will still be deals for the tech lover, but clothing and accessories seem to steal the show on this online holiday.