All this is putting extra pressure on e-commerce systems, with merchants fearing they'll become known as "the HealthCare.gov of (whatever I'm selling)" if their sites go down.
Cyber Monday sounds like a win-win-win, but there are losers. Candy companies such as Hershey (HSY) and snack companies such as Mondelez (MDLZ) feel like big losers, because cybershoppers don't make those impulse buys they normally do at physical checkouts. Even if you throw candy into an online shopping bag, it's going to be a big order, with lower profits.
Just as shoppers are warned to hide their goods in the car trunk on Black Friday, to park only in well-lit spaces, and to be on guard for crooks, so online shoppers this year are getting similar warnings about Cyber Monday.
These include reminders to patch your security software, maintain strong WiFi passwords, and use a Virtual Private Network like Hotspot Shield if you're in a public WiFi hotspot to encrypt your traffic. Using a credit card you know will quickly flag possible fraud is also recommended.
It's not just shoppers who need to be on alert. Hotspot says 64% of online merchants report increased efforts at fraud or cyberattacks on their sites during Cyber Monday, but less than one-third report taking any special precautions to protect their sites on that day.
And there's one more very special security alert all Cyber Monday shoppers. If your boss doesn't like lost productivity, keep an eye out for him. Or do your shopping from home.
At the time of publication, Blankenhorn had no positions in stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.