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Cyber Monday is in full swing, so protect yourself from cyber criminals.

Tips to follow to keep you secure:

Use a credit card when purchasing online for added security.

Gift cards are gifts, not a form of payment. If a website asks you to pay via a gift card, immediately report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

Make sure you shop with a secure site before entering any credit card information. The address begins with “https,” and a closed lock or unbroken key symbol in the lower portion of your window or up on the website address bar; this ensures that the website uses encryption.

Shop on trusted sites with retailers known to you. Use caution on trusted sites that host items for third-party sellers. Many scammers will try to reproduce a well-known website for financial gain. Do your due diligence and ensure that the website is the official site you want to shop with before purchasing. 

Beware of third-party vendors. If redirected occurs, ensure you read the seller’s policies, review ratings, read consumer comments, and, most importantly, do a broad internet search before making your purchase. 

Trusted retailers hosting third-party sellers typically do not warranty their sales; thus, you could get a substandard product or no product when you take the risk and purchase from an unknown third-party vendor. 

Protect your privacy. Our devices generally default to share the maximum amount of data possible. Take precautions and change your settings to limit the personal information you share. 

Before entering your credit card information, ensure that the website’s address begins with “https” and that there is a closed lock or unbroken key symbol in the lower portion of your window or up on the website address bar. 

Don’t keep the credit card on file for future purchases. Provide your credit card number each time you make a purchase. 

Designate one credit card and one email address for online shopping. A designated credit card for online shopping allows for easy review of purchases and protection in case of a dispute. 

The FTC offers additional holiday shopping tips.

Should you have, questions or concerns reach out to our office at 716-858-1987 or via email at You can submit a complaint at our website