Now that Cyber Monday has become as much of a shopping tradition as Black Friday, more and more people are weighing the pros and cons of shopping online vs. in-store. Online purchases are often less expensive than the same items offered in brick-and-mortar stores, and there is an added benefit of convenience. Still, there are other factors to consider when deciding whether you’ll shop at the mall or in your living room.
Even though scanning devices make it possible for cyber thieves to steal data directly from your wallet, identity theft is still more prevalent online. To protect yourself, run an antivirus update and system scan on your computer or mobile device before shopping online. Additionally, don’t enter any personal or financial information into websites you’re not familiar with. Many scam websites appear and disappear during the holidays—often with stolen credit card information. For extra safety, consider shopping online using gift cards instead of your personal plastic.
The First invites you to learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft.
Will your savings get lost in the mail?
Before you tap the “Place Order” button, read the fine print. Is there a shipping cost? If you don’t like your purchase, is there a charge for sending it back? If so, you may not be saving as much as you think by shopping online. Another thing to consider is whether delivered packages will be safe on your doorstep. If you have an option to pick up your online order at the store, that may be the way to go.
Do you value the holiday shopping experience?
There’s often something special about finding the perfect gifts at your local stores. Maybe it’s a feeling of triumph when you load that last present into your car and realize, “I’m Done!” Perhaps you love comparing bargains with other shoppers or relaxing with a hot latte after you’ve made your purchases. If a trip to the mall helps you get into the spirit of the season, by all means do it and have a wonderful holiday!
Do you prefer to shop online or at the store during the holidays? Let us know in the Comments section.