10 ways to be safe while shopping online for the holiday season

By Sean R Parker

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012 11:54 a.m. MDT

Online shopping will hit record levels this year, meaning more hackers will attempt to compromise computers and even financial information. Secure websites have "https" in the Web address.

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Online shopping will hit record levels this year, meaning more hackers will attempt to compromise computers and even financial information, according to U.S. News.

Following is a list of 10 methods online shoppers can implement to stop their computer from getting a virus, or even having their financial data compromised.

1. Avoid websites with red flags, such as poor design, pop-up windows and weird Web addresses.

2. Don’t trust hyperlinks in an email. Type the Web addresses out of the companies you intend to visit. This eliminates the risk of accidentally visiting a scam site.

3. Shop secure sites. The addresses for these start out with https, not just http.

4. Never give out your Social Security number online.

5. Use a credit card. These have identity-theft protection that will reimburse your losses as long as you report the theft soon enough. Debit cards don’t have this protection. Check your account often for fraudulent charges.

6. Strengthen your passwords. If they are hard to remember, record them in a secure document. Good passwords have a mixture of numbers and letters.

7. Review your online shopping rights. If the product doesn’t ship on time, customers can cancel the order and get refunded.

8. Avoid using mobile devices to shop with a public wifi network. This broadcasts your information to hackers.

9. Ignore strangers trying to reach you online. Just like spam emails, fake social media accounts can compromise your computer. Ignore them.

10. Fake holiday eCards can also threaten your security. Only trust senders you know and make sure their email address is actually theirs.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

TWITTER: @SeanRParker

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