Fewer Cyber Monday shoppers expected; cyber security still a concern

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HARTFORD---  After a busy holiday weekend in shopping malls, millions of Americans are expected to log on and keep shopping on the day dubbed Cyber Monday.

That day, the Monday after Thanksgiving, has been the biggest online shopping day of the year since 2010. The day could take on added importance after a Thanksgiving weekend that saw fewer shoppers and lower spending than last year, according to some estimates.

"We`re looking for technology: laptops, Xbox, and clothes and jerseys," said Mark Jacobson, a Staten Island, NY resident who was shopping at Buckland Hills Mall on Sunday night.

There were plenty of other shoppers who say they are preparing to  keep shopping on cyber Monday.

Cynthia Violette of Coventry  says she's looking to score some online deals on toys and clothes for her children.

"I like shopping online, because i can have everything delivered to the house and they wont know about it," said Violette.

The National Retail Federation expects about 127 million people to shop online Monday, down from about 131 million who planned to shop online last year on cyber Monday.

"I don't think a lot of consumers are confident their information is being or can be even protected," said Howard Schwartz, executive director of communications at the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

Recent breaches have put data security in the spotlight for retailers.

We spoke with Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau-- who says consumers must be proactive and take precautions

"If you really want to lessen your chances of getting into trouble, make sure you're going to a reputable site, that you go to the site directly and use a secure for of payment like a credit card or Pay-Pal," Schwartz said.

Black Friday promotions started a week or more earlier in some cases this year. Amazon has been offering special online deals since November 21st.

Part of the reason why some people aren't rushing to the computer Monday.

"I'm not looking to buy anything tomorrow,  I got  what I need this weekend, that`s it," said shopper Miraim Jacobson.

Most major retailers offered Black Friday prices both in stores and online over this weekend.

Best Buy is already offering what it calls 2-day deals and cyber deals.  in addition to the Cyber Monday only deals.

"We have great deals, new technology, we've seen a lot of excitement about that this year," said Lynne Napoli, store manager for the Best Buy store in Manchester.

Other safe online shopping tips from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau:

Safe Online Savings

Go right to the source – If you get an email, text or social media link to a coupon or store special, don’t click.

Compare shipping charges –  An Item may be cheaper, but be more expensive than competitors’ with lower shipping and handling.

Look for “https” for Secure – Before you enter any credit card number, you should see http”S” and a padlock.  Encrypted.

Lowest prices can cost a lot – Knockoffs, stolen goods on auction sites.  "Gray” merchandise which is manufactured for other countries, and may be cheaper, but the warranty will not be honored and may not be up to stringent US safety regulations.  Kids toys, electronics

Classified ads can be risky  -No protection like with a credit card.  Merchandise also could be stolen or not as promised

Use only credit card or well-established  online payment systems.

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