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Ready, Click, Spend!

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Original Title: Ready, Click, Spend

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest days of the year for online shopping.

While the malls and department stores were certainly busy on Black Friday (the first shopping day after Thanksgiving), an increasing number of shoppers are buying holiday gifts online.

An online survey found 80 percent of Internet users will buy gifts online this season. Sacramento, California, is one of the top 20 markets in online spending. Shoppers surveyed there said they would spend $322 online this year out of a total holiday gift budget of $821.

But a significant minority of shoppers still refuse to buy online. "I'd be scared to shop online and using my credit cards," said shopper Wendy Hagerty. "Somebody could, you know, hack into it."

An expert in fraud prevention said shoppers just have to be careful. "If you are as cautious online as you are when you're actually buying things in the offline world, e-commerce is safe," said Bill Rosenkranz of Symantec. "You just have to be a little more wary. It's a new channel. It's a new way for people to shop."

Here are some safety recommendations for shopping online:

1. Don't follow an e-mail link to an e-commerce site -- that link could lead to fake sites. Type retailers' Web addresses into your browser yourself.

2. Make sure you're dealing with a secure Internet server -- such servers show a small lock pop up at the bottom of your browser screen.

3. Avoid using debit cards online. Credit cards offer more protection in the event of credit or identity theft.

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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