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Five tips to conquer Cyber Monday

You survived Black Friday. Or maybe you just avoided it altogether. Either way, get ready to take your shopping spree online for Cyber Monday. If you haven’t already done so, here are a few things you may need to do to get ready:

Membership has advantages: Join the loyalty programs for any stores where you plan to shop. Also sign up for their email alerts, follow them on Twitter and Pinterest, and “like” them on Facebook for additional deals and up-to-the minute information.

Divide and conquer: Create a dedicated email account for your online shopping so you don’t have to sift through personal emails to get the deals. This is also a good place to send e-receipts from brick-and-mortar stores.

C’mon, get appy: An increasing number of applications can help you navigate the world of e-commerce with your smartphone or tablet. For example, TheFind.com’s app helps you compare prices of items online and watches when they drop. The PriceBlink app self-activates every time you shop online and will alert you to coupons and special offers for the site you’re shopping on. It also lets you know if the same item is available for less anywhere else in cyberspace. The TGICyberMonday app aggregates Cyber Monday deals from major retailers.

The early bird gets it: Shop early - maybe even now. Retailers have been running online deals all week, and you can still take advantage of them. Check your targeted websites in advance to make sure you are ready for new deals when they go up early Monday morning.

Be safe: Instead of paying with debit cards, use credit cards, which have better fraud protection. Don’t save your information at retailers’ websites; enter it manually each time. Shop from home. Your home connection is more secure than public networks or Wi-Fi, even at work. And if you are at work, remember to heed your company’s policy for surfing the Web.

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