Navigating "Cyber Monday" To Avoid Cyber Thieves

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 2, 2013 Updated Dec 2, 2013 at 6:28 PM EDT

INDIANA (21ALIVE) --- The National Retail Federation counted on more than 130-million people shopping online December 2nd, this year falling on what's become known as "Cyber Monday".

The practice gives consumers added convenience, but the key is knowing how to get what you want without getting ripped off.

Scammers and thieves are lurking online.

If you pull up sites like "overstock.com", there are deals galore.

But you need to keep security in mind, because crooks have ways to gain access to bank account and personal information.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security urges consumers to shop only well-known, reputable sites.

The agency also maintains that it's a good idea to use complex passwords to protect personal information, and advises you should ask your bank about virtual credit cards, that can only be used once and expire within 24 hours.

Staying with reputable web sites takes some effort.

" Overstock.com is a legitimate site, but there is other companies using overstockpromotionsales.com and overstockclearancesales.com, and they are not connected to overstock.com, so just make sure that it's a legitimate site," said Greg Smitley, with the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana.

Businesses might want to keep a watchful eye out for employees who get caught up in the online shopping frenzy.

A study conducted by the polling firm Omnibus, found nearly 90 percent of working Americans planned to shop or browse for online gifts during work hours on Cyber Monday, and the study found more than 20 percent planned to spend four hours or more doing so.

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