By Jennifer Bowen - email
(RNN) - While Black Friday is the official launch of the holiday shopping season for brick-and-mortar stores, Cyber Monday kicks off the start of the shopping season for those doing their buying online.
Online retailers roll out big savings for those willing to log-on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
A survey by shop.org shows that 88 percent of retailers will have special promotions for Cyber Monday, up slightly over last year and up from 72 percent in 2007.
"Cyber Monday has become such a crucial component of the holiday season that many retailers and shoppers don't remember the holidays without it," said Joan Broughton, interim executive director of Shop.org. "And just when we think that Cyber Monday can't get any bigger, it does."
In a report by Pricegrabber.com, 37 percent of people say they plan to shop online on Cyber Monday. The term was coined in 2005 when retailers noticed a trend of people logging on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holidays. The trend has gained momentum as people become more and more connected to technology.
"The explosion onto the market of mobile devices with Internet access like smart phones, tablets, and netbooks has freed shoppers from being tied to their desktop or laptop computer when they want to shop online," said Laura Conrad, president of Pricegrabber.com. "Consumers are now, more than ever, able to shop online anytime, anywhere."
With internet convenience and savings can come the risk of scams and identity theft.
"Unfortunately, no one is immune to these types of crimes and they can have a tremendous impact on your finances long after the holidays are over," said Barbara Saylor, a spokeswoman for Capital One. "The rush of the holiday season can make it a busy time for identity thieves, but shoppers can take simple steps to help guard their personal information."
Capital One offers these tips to keep your online shopping experience a safe one:
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