Ways to keep your packages and personal information safe on Cyber Monday

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Cyber Monday is here, and many of us will soon be expecting packages. More than 135 packages have been stolen in Lincoln this year. Police say in the past three years, 50 percent of all package thefts happen during the months of November and December.

The Better Business Bureau says it's important to keep an eye out for scams, especially on one of the biggest online shopping days like Cyber Monday (SOURCE: KOLN).

Police tell 10/11 package thefts so far this year total up to a loss of almost $50,000. LPD is encouraging those expecting packages to take a look at different delivery options companies are now offering.

Amazon, Fed-Ex and UPS all offer services to make sure you get to your purchases before porch pirates get the chance to. Amazon lockers allow you to pick up your delivery from a select location. All you have to do is punch in your unique code to retrieve your package. Fed-Ex partners with Walgreens. You can have your items delivered there and skip out on worrying about packages being stolen from your porch.

"Work with your carrier and have items delivered to family members [and] neighbors. So, if you know you're not going to be home, we highly encourage you to not have that package just sitting on your porch," says crime analysis unit manager for LPD Jeff Peterson.

Another option is to purchase a parcel drop box. This secure box sits on your porch and has a unique code for anyone dropping deliveries off at your home. They simply enter the code, put your items inside, and the box locks itself.

For Amazon users in Lincoln, there's an Amazon Locker at the Whole Foods on 60th and "O" streets. Both UPS and Fed-Ex offer apps to help you send deliveries to another location other than your home or to reschedule the time they'll be dropped off.

Black Friday in 2019 broke records, with more than $7.4 billion spent. On Cyber Monday, shoppers are expected to spend even more at 9.4 billion dollars.

Experts say deals on Cyber Monday are good and sometimes, they're even better than what you find on Black Friday. Some Cyber Monday items are also better to shop for on that day than to spend money on them on Black Friday. You can find some of the biggest sales on clothing. That's because retailers know most people are looking to spruce up their winter-gear with buying things like jackets and boots. Many people are also searching for items that make nice Christmas gifts like sweaters and ties.

Purchasing electronics on Cyber Monday may also save you some coins. The biggest thing on many lists this year are the new Apple AirPods. Other top items you'll find deals on today are Bluetooth speakers and sound systems. Shopping at online-only stores on Cyber Monday is recommended for some of the best deals. You can expect more items to be in stock on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday, that includes toys, which are always a big one on parents' lists.

Maybe you're planning on moving or re-doing your home for the holidays or the new year. Experts say when you shop for furniture on Cyber Monday, you'll most likely find good deals on those items as well. Many companies will have deals like 50 percent off on items like sofas, mattresses and TV stands.

After Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday means we're in the full swing of the holiday shopping season. It also means that scammers are out there, waiting to take advantage of shoppers. The Better Business Bureau says it's important to keep an eye out for scams, especially on one of the biggest online shopping days like Cyber Monday. To keep your personal information safe and secure, experts say to make sure the web address is legit. A way to check the website is to make sure it has "https://" before the web address. The "s" at the end ensures the website is secure and your information is encrypted, that way it's safer to enter your credit card number or other information.

Experts also suggest you keep your anti-virus software up-to-date on your computer. Paying with a credit card may also be a safer choice. Financial experts say charges made with credit cards are easier to dispute than purchases made using a debit card. Scammers will also try to scam shoppers by luring them in to click on links that say things like "free products" or "free concerts." BBB experts say if it seems too good to be true, it's best to not click it. It's also safe to check emails before opening them, especially those surrounding holiday shopping deals. To stay on the safe side, it's recommended always going directly to the brand's website if you see any type of email about an account suspension or account problem.

For more information on how to stay safe this Cyber Monday, you can visit the Better Business Bureau's visit website, where they have more tips and things to look out for when shopping online.