Cyber Monday: the Good and the Bad

By Samantha Savory

Today, the Monday after Thanksgiving, tagged Cyber Monday, has become the second most popular holiday shopping day of the year, following Black Friday, the busiest holiday shopping day of the year.

For those of you unfamiliar with Cyber Monday, it is the Monday following Thanksgiving where online retailers offer amazing deals, freebies, and a lot of the time, free shipping for consumers making purchases online. In layman’s terms, it’s basically the online version of Black Friday.

Last year, more than 8.7 million Americans shopped online on Cyber Monday buying $887 million worth of holiday gifts. This year analysts have been reporting all throughout national media outlets that Cyber Monday spending will reach $1 Billion this year.

Nearly 90% of retailers participate in some way on Cyber Monday, which is up from 73% the year before and it will probably be close to 100% next year. When shopping online this Cyber Monday, we want to warn people to be cautious– it could also be dangerous for shoppers.

“The convenience and ease of shopping online has replaced the hassle of going to the store for many people — but online shopping has its own set of risks,” said Alison Southwick, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau says consumers may want to update antivirus software, secure firewalls and update spam filters in order to protect computers before making holiday purchases. In addition, the BBB warns consumers of suspicious e-mails as the holiday is popular venue for phishing – a scam in which hackers attempt to garner information by traditional e-mail methods.

Consumers may also wish to pay with credit cards as many card companies offer enhanced protection in cases of identity theft, stolen credit card numbers and other potential liabilities.

I encourage people to take advantage of the sales going on today, but be careful. Check out for the best deals and discounts from retail sites that are legit and will save you lots of money on your Christmas gifts this year!

About the Author

Samantha Savory is a 20-something-year-old recent communications graduate whose mission is to financially succeed and thrive in this economy. She writes about personal finance and anything related to shopping and saving money.