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Cyber Monday: Think Before You Click

Here are some tips to keep your money and identity safe in cyberspace.

Be careful today – Cyber Monday – when you’re spending all that money online. IDentity Theft 911  is offering these tips to make sure your dollars go where they're intended and that your identity stays with you. 

It urges you to:

  • Shop on secure sites. They’ll have “https” in the address bar and a yellow padlock logo to the right of the Web browser address bar.
  • Double-click on the lock to see a digital certificate of the website. Review these certificates on unfamiliar sites.Enter correct URLs. Hackers often buy misspelled domains to trick people into entering personal information.
  • Never enter your Social Security number or passwords to email and bank accounts as part of the buying process with online retailers.Use different passwords for online retailers, personal email and banks accounts. If a hacker cracks one password, he won’t have access to others.
  • Read site reviews before making any purchases. Pricegrabber.com compares prices and users’ comments on retail websites. Google Product Search, slickdeals.net and dealnews.com monitor retailers, site performance, possible issues and deals.
  • Never save personal information on an online retail website. Retailers will offer convenience and better deals, but many customer databases are breached by identity thieves. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Read website return and privacy policies before making purchases. If there’s any doubt about fairness, find another site.
  • Be aware of phishing email scams that include website links advertising incredible deals. Don’t click on them. Type the link directly into your browser.
  • Use credit cards, not debit cards. Try to use credit cards with low limits to minimize the damage if a thief takes over the account. Or use a “one-time” credit card number from payment processors such as PayPal.
  • Never link a bank account to an online pay service such as PayPal. Hackers could break into the PayPal account and drain money from the linked bank account.
  • Never send payment information via regular email. It’s not secure. Make sure all personal information transactions are done on a secure site.
  • Uncheck boxes advertising “additional offers.” These services are sometimes offered for a low initial fee that later increases to a high, recurring charge on your credit card. Also, they’ll issue your contact information to spammers.
  • Secure mobile phones used for shopping. Back them up regularly and enable security features such as power on password and inactivity time lock. Learn how to clear browser caches and, if available, enable data encryption and antivirus applications.
  • Install and update antivirus, anti-malware and firewall software on your computer. Update its operating system and Internet browser with the latest security patches.
Charles November 26, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Another tip. If you don't plan on doing any online shopping at work, take a three hour paid lunch so you and your workmates get the same amount of work done.
Buy My Bikes November 26, 2012 at 09:32 PM
After you shop and decide what you are going to buy, go to your LOCAL store and compare price you will find there is not much difference if any give the guy down the street a chance!!!! Keep the money LOCAL!!!! Bicycle Jim!!!
Charles November 26, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Usually the price is more expensive locally than it is online. Once I am in a position to "Checkout" online, then I need to call local guys and ask them if the item is in stock? How many phone calls? That's my time I'm spending. Then, if the local guy does have it in stock, I have to drive there. It's almost always cheaper and almost always easier to buy a lot (but not everything) online. Some exceptions: When there's a good chance you would have to return something. When you have a part to be replaced and you want to conduct an in-person comparison. When you are buying clothing and you want to ensure a good fit.
tiny December 02, 2012 at 09:55 PM
don't turn the key happenings: http://rt.com/news/assange-internet-control-totalitarian-943
tiny December 05, 2012 at 04:05 PM
tin foil hat stuff: http://rt.com/usa/news/surveillance-spying-e-mail-citizens-178

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