Cyber Monday 2017: The How-To Guide

November 26, 2017

3:50 pm

Cyber Monday: The lazy person’s Black Friday. And if you’re lazy, there’s no better way to do your holiday shopping than all at once. It’ll be a hit to your credit card, sure, but with the internet on hand, you can find gifts for your friends and family all from the comfort of your easy chair.

You can even finish off the Thanksgiving leftovers while you do it. Try a cranberry sauce and turkey sandwich; it’s my favorite. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Cyber Monday event, and what you can do to prepare for it.

Explore Your Shipping Options

Same-day shipping is a very mainstream concept this year. New data out last week has revealed that 60 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers are more likely to purchase from retailers who offer same-day delivery. And, as we heard at the Innovate Celebrate 2017 conference, shipping options have improved across the board. Adults will spend an average of $478 per person this year, and they’re getting their shipments fast.

Change Your Passwords

One report from Risk Based Security notes that the first three quarters of 2017 have seen the disclosure of 16,006 vulnerabilities, a 38 percent boost from last year. Cybersecurity isn’t getting any more secure. You may want to update your passwords now.

If remembering the new passwords is a challenge, consider opting for a password manager tool. And while you’re updating things, take a look at your Facebook privacy settings, too.

Watch for Phishers

Any time large amounts of internet users are gearing up to start typing credit card numbers into their browsers, the hackers start to show up. The easiest way to steal a shopper’s personal info? Set up a fake website or email that uses a URL or email address similar to, but separate from, the real deal. It’s called phishing. To ensure you don’t fall for a decoy, be sure to doublecheck for any misspellings.

You can read up on the most common misspellings here, along with additional tips for avoiding phishers.

Check Out Deal Sites

Sure, you should bookmark your favorite site or tech gadget. But some sites exist for no other reason than to point out the best deals, and they’re more useful than ever on Cyber Monday. Try the Amazon price tracker CamelCamelCamel or internet coupon site Retail Me Not.

Skip the Whole Thing and Get Deals Later

You don’t have to buy stuff on the internet on Cyber Monday and only Cyber Monday. Plenty of deals are available later into the holiday season. But if you’re not shopping now, at least set yourself a calendar reminder to do it before the holidays are upon you. You don’t want to wind up in an “Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way” situation.

Read more about the best holiday gift guides on TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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