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Ready, Click, Spend!

photograph from Science & Technology story

(11/25/2006)

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Most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. They share a festive meal, watch football, and enjoy each other’s company. For some people, shopping is a big part of their Thanksgiving tradition as well.

For many years, the day after Thanksgiving has been the busiest shopping day of the year. Many stores have sales on that day. Many people go to the sales so they can save money. The shoppers are looking for bargains. This busy shopping day is called “Black Friday.”

Recently, researchers have noticed another busy shopping day. This day is a little different. It is the busiest day of the year for online shopping. The Monday after Thanksgiving has become known as “Cyber Monday.” On this day, more and more shoppers buy their holiday gifts online.

One organization took a survey. The survey found that 80 percent of Internet users buy gifts online. Some cities have more online shoppers than others. The survey found that shoppers in one city will spend one third of their holiday budget online.

But, most shoppers still do not want to buy online. They are afraid to use their credit card on a Website. They fear that their credit card number will be stolen. They worry that retail Websites are not secure. They are afraid that shopping sites could be hacked into. Their personal banking information could be stolen. This is called fraud.

Shopping online is a new way for people to shop. An expert in preventing fraud says shoppers should be careful. He says that online shoppers should use caution when they shop online. He has some helpful tips to keep shoppers safe. If you decide to shop online, follow these rules:

First, don’t follow an email link to a shopping Website. The link could lead to a fake site. Type the retailers’ address into your browser yourself. Also, make sure that you are shopping on a secure server. You should see a little lock at the bottom of the screen. The picture means you are on a secure server and it’s safe to shop. One last tip is to avoid using debit cards online. Credit cards are a safer choice.

The survey predicts that more people will shop online in the future. But holiday shoppers will still shop in stores to find good bargains.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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