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Online Shopping Safety Tips for Black Friday

blog-default Black Friday has become a pretty big deal in American culture, and stores and companies everywhere put out deals and special events to attract buyers on this consumer-oriented holiday. If you're planning to take advantage of a few sales this year, you might want to consider staying home and shopping online. The lines and crazy store hours can wear out anyone, and it's a lot easier to log in on your computer at home to score some sweet savings. However, there are some online shopping safety tips you should keep in mind. Here are a few to consider. Shop on secure websites You don't want to give your payment information to a website that's not secure, so look for "https" instead of just "http" in the beginning of the website's address, which signifies that it's safer. Update your anti-virus software While you're surfing the Web for deals, you might come across some advertisements and lots of pop-up windows that could have viruses. To make sure that your computer is protected, update your anti-virus software before you get started if it's out of date. Then, of course, avoid clicking on those ads and pop-ups, even if they look tempting. Know the return policy There's nothing worse than being burned by ordering something online that you can't return even if it's defective or doesn't fit. To avoid wasting your money, be sure to review the site's return policy before you place an order to be sure that you can send something back if it's not to your satisfaction. Update your browser Out-of-date browsers might not be giving you the best security protection, which can create problems for you if a website turns out to be problematic. Look for the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer and download it before you start shopping. Give as little information as possible Not every field in an online form is required, so it's a good idea to fill out only the ones that are when you're putting in your personal information. And, of course, don't ever answer questions that seem too personal, like what your Social Security number is. No reputable retailer needs this information. Don't do anything over email Stores should never ask for your personal information over email, especially your credit card number. Email isn't as secure as encrypted websites, so you should never give sensitive information to your contacts.