While shoppers and retailers dealt with safety concerns at stores across the U.S. on Black Friday, experts warn that safety should remain a priority while making the transition to online shopping this Cyber Monday.
More than a third of Americans plan to shop online this holiday season, according to a survey by PriceGrabber. About 4 percent plan to make purchases from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Malware is easily slipped into emails, Don DeBolt, director of threat research for security company Total Defense, told Security News Daily. Consumers are more apt to click on the virus-laced links while offers pile up in their inbox during the build up to Cyber Monday.
Some cyber attacks come from malware inserted into advertisements on legitimate websites. But consumers can take precautionary steps to keep their computers safe while shopping.
"Computer users have little control over this attack if they are not using an ad-blocking application, so it is highly recommended that an anti-malware product is used to best protect against this kind of attack," DeBolt said.
To help avoid common problems associated with Cyber Monday, experts suggest using a secure Internet connection while shopping and sticking with well-known online retailers, such as Amazon or Walmart.
Reviewing credit card and bank statements regularly will also help shoppers immediately deal with any issues that may arise from a Cyber Monday attack.
Experts also recommend using reputable apps while shopping on a smartphone or tablet, rather than a standard Internet browser.
Several anti-virus programs are available to help keep smartphones and tablets as safe as home computers this shopping season.
McAfee VirusScan Mobile, Norton Mobile Security and Lookout are three best-selling programs to help protect mobile devices from malware. All three are available for Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices.
Apple’s iPhone is traditionally more secure from cyber attacks, but it is unclear how much malware is designed for the device as the popularity increases for shopping and other financial practices.