COLORADO SPRINGS — Cyber Monday is upon us and while many people look to get the best deals online, small businesses can sometimes be overlooked. That is why some local businesses are working on building their online presence.
It is expected that almost 20% of consumers are going to spend more on Cyber Monday this year.
And it isn’t just big companies, like Target looking to make money. According to the National Retail Federation, online shopping is more than 3 times more popular than in-store shopping for Cyber Monday. I spoke with a local business owner of a small fashion boutique in Colorado Springs about how Cyber Monday impacts her business.
“You absolutely have to be available and present online because it’s just the sign of the times. Folks want accessibility and convenience and that’s where the online presence comes in,” said Amie Bennight, co-owner of Deliah’s Fashion Truck.
Amie says her local business will also be offering Cyber Monday deals. She believes small businesses can often be overlooked on Cyber Monday but encourages the community to support businesses like hers online.
While you are shopping today, it’s important you take the right steps to make sure you are protecting your devices from getting hacked.
Cyber criminals become more sophisticated each year. That’s the biggest takeaway I took from Forrest Senti, an expert at the National Cybersecurity Center.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Forrest says you want to make sure you are using a credit card instead of your bank card. He says this is much safer. He also recommends you create a separate email for online shopping. He calls this your “throwaway” email. And when you are shopping online, be aware of emails that are sent to harm you.
“The ability for them to inject malware on your computer from clicking on a link from your email. All of that stuff is just getting easier and easier. And so, during the holiday season, it’s even more elevated and people are looking for deals. So, for the first time ever, we are getting these emails. We are going, “Oh, I would love to see how I can save 20%.” And we want to click that,” said Senti.
Forrest advises using an old computer to make your online purchases. This adds an extra layer of security. He does not recommend using your Facebook or any social media page to make an account to make a purchase. He says this can be dangerous and can give away your personal data.
For more tips on how you can be a safe shopper, you can visit the national cybersecurity center webpage right here.
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