Retail stores have been anxiously advertising their Cyber Monday sales over the past week in anticipation that Americans will spend some $1.5 billion while shopping online on November 26, 2012. That lofty figure is up 20 percent from last year but websites are crashing under the strain of an unprecedented overload!
Several popular American retail chains have been hit hard and are crashing with messages such as “server unavailable.” Some do not recognize existing passwords, prompting you to create a new account.
And if you’re a mobile phone user, Cybergangs have identified mobile device-enabled services as a source of valuable personal data, particularly logging on information to banking and shopping accounts, adds Alisdair Faulkner, the Chief Products Officer at a security company ThreatMetrix.
Be careful before you put in credit card or other financial information on lesser known retail sites as we’re being warned that a whole new breed of “cybercriminals” are creating knockoff sites and steering shoppers away, especially through social media sites, warns Catalin Cosoi, a chief researcher at an antivirus company Bitdefender.
But if you’re going to shop online, that is if a retail site permits you even with all the existing heavy traffic, using a debit card in particular is probably unwise advises Cybersecurity expert Bob Bunge, an Information Sciences professor at DeVry University, for obvious reasons since it can give cyber thieves direct access to your personal checking account.
Don’t be too quick if a site you frequent is suddenly behaving erratically – take your time and proceed with caution say experts. And that’s advice you cannot argue with no matter how good a deal may seem…