Cyber Monday may pose threat to consumers

The Monday after Thanksgiving, nicknamed Cyber Monday, replaced Black Friday as the most popular day for holiday shopping last year.

Last year, more than 96 million Americans shopped online on Cyber Monday. By comparison, only 79 million consumers visited traditional storefronts on Black Friday. However, it could also be a dangerous one for shoppers.

“The convenience and ease of shopping online has replaced the hassle of going to the store for many people—but online shopping has its own set of risks,” said Alison Southwick, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau says consumers may want to update antivirus software, secure firewalls and update spam filters in order to protect computers before making holiday purchases.

In addition, the BBB warns consumers of suspicious e-mails as the holiday is popular venue for phishing – a scam in which hackers attempt to garner information by traditional e-mail methods.

Consumers may also wish to pay with credit cards as many offer enhanced protection in cases of identity theft, stolen credit card numbers and other potentially liabilities.