Cyber Monday is a reminder to shop carefully

This year's Cyber Monday spending was projected to hit a record pace, as online shopping continues to grow. Consumers were expected to spend $9.4 billion during the 24-hour period.    

That's about $6.5 million every minute.    

As shoppers surf their way around the virtual aisles of online retailers that are trying to catch their attention, there are some vital tips to practice safe shopping during the holidays and any other time:   

First, it's important to do some homework, checking reviews and third-party sources, to make sure online retailers are who they say they are. Go directly to a retailer website, rather than clicking on links, to help ensure you're in the right place. Look for the 'lock' symbol and 'https' designation, in the web address, which indicates it's a secure transaction.    

Web designer Beth Guide says there can be a price to pay, for not being careful.

"It's very easy to create a fake persona," says Guide. "If you have the bucks to promote it and put it in the public's path, it's not very hard to get there and create situations that would put the consumer in harm's way."    

The National Retail Federation predicts consumers could spend $730 million, this holiday season, with a record portion of that happening online.