Malware wants your info: Cyber Monday tips to protect your purchases

CINCINNATI - Billions of dollars are expected to fly around the Internet during Cyber Monday, the World Wide Web's version of Black Friday.

Those kinds of numbers have the attention of not only businesses, but criminals, too. There are fake websites, emails, and pop-up, but we have the On Your Side tips to keep your transactions safer.

"It's nice that you don't have to go out,” laughed Carolyn Trivisonno from Mayfield Heights, Ohio when asked about shopping on Cyber Monday versus Black Friday.  She likes not having to battle the Black Friday crowds. In fact, in general when it comes to her shopping, she turns to her computer. “We do more online than we do in the store,” said Trivisonno.

With so many people buying online, the Better Business Bureau said make sure you check out the company behind the website you're about to buy from. Google the name and see if there are any complaints. You can also check the BBB's site.

Look for a phone number on the site itself and call it to make sure someone's there.

Check for the "https" that should be before the address. Don't fall for deals that are too good to be true. And get documentation confirmation about your order.

"So, that if there's a question, if you don't get it, or if what you get doesn't look a thing like what you ordered you have some documentation of what it is you actually purchased,” said Better Business Bureau Sr. Vice President Sue McConnell.

Plus, make sure your anti-virus software is up to date because if it’s not, you’re opening up your computer to potential problems. “There are some very nasty malware that is going around,” McConnell warned.

That's something you definitely don't want, because once that malware gets into your computer, it can wreak havoc. It can steal your most important personal information, get your passwords, even take your money. Plus, on top of all that, it can be really hard to track them down.

“They are designed not to leave a lot of traces. They're designed not to lead you right back to whomever built the malicious software in the first place."

The folks at Secure State from Bedford Heights also said be careful with Wi-Fi connections as a guest. Make sure you check with the store, restaurant or business before you log on.

These are all On Your Side tips Trivisonno is keeping in mind.

"I know that everything can be compromised but you just have to make sure you know what you’re doing," she told us.

More On Your Side tips:

Don't click on links you get from email addresses you're not familiar with. And even if you do get a link sent to you from a known address, you'll want to just go to the site itself rather than clicking on the link.

Use different passwords for sites so crooks don't notice a pattern.

And use a credit card or Paypal, never a wire transfer when paying.

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