cyber-mondayRemember the days when everyone wanted a Tickle Me Elmo? People waited for hours and sometimes days for a chance to get the hottest toy of the year. But, that was almost 10 years ago.

Now, Cyber Monday battles Black Friday as the biggest shopping day of the year. This year, Black Friday online sales were up close to 20% and mobile sales went up 42%. Cyber stores like Amazon started deals on Friday and battled with traditional brick-and-mortar companies for consumer dollars. Sites such as www.zoolert.com make it easy to compare prices, track hard to find items and send you alerts when they’re available.

The added ease of shopping from your couch and avoiding long lines opens up additional risks that some are eagerly taking advantage of through phishing emails, realistic faux websites, and other methods of jumping into your device, your information, your life.

We know this – it’s been going on for years. Symantec recently came out and said intellectual property is the biggest target of hacks for both individuals and enterprises. Our best friends, our mobile devices, increase entry ways into a network and may be hosting someone or some bot lacking the good intentions we expect around the holiday season.

So be careful with your Cyber Monday adventures as while you’re not shopping on your laptop during work (right?), shopping on your mobile device connected to the corporate WiFi isn’t exactly “safe.” We aren’t all as security conscious as we should be – 70% of smartphone users say they use their phone for work stuff, yet only about 30% admit to even taking minimal security precautions like a phone PIN. Couple that with file upload apps like DropBox and Evernote and stored passwords? You’ve got IP just waiting to be stolen.

Tickle Me Elmo and the PS4 aren’t worth it, no matter how good the price listed on that crafty email is. Secure online and mobile shopping isn’t impossible, and well worth it when it keeps you out of long lines and saves your credit card a few swipes.