If past years are any indication, the glee that accompanies a great bargain or the acquisition of a highly-sought after gift will be felt by many shoppers, and retail records will likely be broken today – Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the day many of us begin to tire of our Thanksgiving leftovers and turn our attention to the next holiday. For many, regardless of which holiday is celebrated, presents are involved. And, even for the most miserly, the allure of promotional discounts, no sales taxes, or free shipping cannot be denied.
In 2010, sales figures from Cyber Monday crossed a notable threshold. On Cyber Monday 2010, more than nine million people spent over one billion dollars in online shopping on U.S. websites. According to comScore, approximately half the shoppers made their purchases from their workplace. If you think about the country’s 300+ million person population, the high percentage that has Internet access and credit cards, and our well-developed shipping and delivery infrastructure, it’s a wonder those numbers aren’t higher.
Last month, John Sileo, identity theft expert, provided several recommendations on how to protect yourself from cyber theft. By extension, to protect yourself from cyber theft is to protect your identity. In that vein, I’d like to add just one more tip: shop smartly. Look for bargains (pricegrabber.com is a popular price comparison site), minimize shipping expenses by combining orders, and most importantly, be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to spend and respect your budget. Credit cards were created so you can spend money without carrying cash, not so you can spend money you don’t have.
At ProtectMyID, we often hear that people are most concerned with the financial impact of identity theft. Perhaps that’s because, for most of us, finances are top-of-mind. Let us not forget our own, very hands-on role in protecting our financial identity. By shopping smartly this holiday season, you’ll be protecting yourself from credit-related angst in the coming year(s). Preserving your credit by avoiding damage to your credit score is just as critical to protecting your identity as knowing where your wallet is at all times.
Happy Cyber Monday and Happy Clicking!