Nacogdoches librarian offers some security tips for online holiday shopping

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Just like with Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals were launched earlier and will likely be extended into next week, the week after, or even the next.

This provides a longer risk in becoming a victim of online fraud.

East Texas News has some advice on how to avoid the holiday spoiler.

Nacogdoches librarian Mercedes Franks doesn't do that much online shopping herself, but she wrote the book on advising others to do it safely.

"That's one of their very first questions, how do i keep my information from getting stolen," Franks said.

Franks teaches computer classes at the public library. A good deal of attention is paid to ways to avoid online consumer fraud. First tip …

"Stick with stores or companies they're familiar with," Franks said.

But Web surfing is great for introducing you to lots of wonderful, little known businesses. Franks says don't shy away. Instead, look for indications of a reputable website.

"There's that 's' at the end of the https. Always search for a padlock," Franks said.

And the scary part is always letting go of that credit card number. Franks tells online shoppers that's way safer than using a debit card.

"Because your credit card will have more consumer protections than your debit card will," Franks said. "You can also return items easier if you've used a credit card. Also recommend that they stick with one credit card for all their online transactions. It will just make it easier to detect any suspicious behavior."

And hold onto those receipts. That way you'll have proof of purchase should your order never arrive.

If you're still nervous about all that keyboard clicking, follow in a researcher's footsteps.

"I still prefer to go to a store," Franks said with a laugh.

Cyber sales hit $1.5 billion dollars last year. Experts say this year could reach closer to $2 billion.

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