It’s here again – that time of year when bargain holiday shopping kicks into high gear. More of us are shopping online than ever before. Who wants to fight the crowded malls, bad weather and jammed up traffic? But, don’t forget — it’s important to know the safety rules when you’re tracking down those Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains.

Holiday scams in past years include fake websites touting reduced-price merchandise, fake virus alerts, fake bank notices wanting you to re-enter your private information, offers for the season’s hottest item at unbelievably low prices, and ads that, when they’re clicked, silently place premium calls at your expense.

So, put on your favorite holiday music, pour a cup of something, and learn these tips to make your shopping experience safe, enjoyable and problem-free.

  • Don’t make purchases from unsecure websites or payment screens. Always look for the green lock symbol next to the URL to be sure you’re on a secure sight. If you don’t think the payment apparatus is secure, try giving the company a call to place your order.
  • Ignore offers of free merchandise. Nothing is truly free, and these sites are most often loaded with malware or viruses that can make you wish you’d never clicked on them.  Don’t forget, cybercriminals need holiday money, too. Make sure it’s not yours.
  • Have a super-strength mobile security product downloaded on your mobile device before you begin your shopping.  You’ll never have to worry about being on an unsafe site or downloading an app that might be trying to trick you.
  • Use one specific credit card for all your online shopping, and avoid using debit cards if you can.
  • Why re-invent the wheel? Look at online deals websites that compare prices and products. Sites like, and do all the pricing work for you –  you’ll have your shopping done in no time.
  • Buy from reputable dealers. Fly-by-night retailers are in full swing at this time of year. Check for warranties, guarantees and customer support services.
  • Before you place your order, make sure the shipping costs for your purchase aren’t more expensive than the item itself.
  • Use NQ Mobile’s Vault, a super-safe cyber-locker app, to keep messages about holiday surprises private!

Use all that extra time you’ve saved to have fun with your friends and family. Holidays can be much less stressful when you go online safely during Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shop – the deals are fabulous, and the peace of mind – immeasurable.

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