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November 13, 2015

How to Protect Your Identity When You Holiday Shop Online

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Shopping online makes holiday shopping so much easier, but it also makes having your identity stolen easier as well. While new credit card security chips will make shopping in stores easier this holiday season, the chips will not protect you the same way when you are shopping online. Here are some great ways to protect yourself from online identity theft.

The biggest thing you can do is make sure your browsing habits are secure. First, make sure you are on a protected wireless connection. Many public WiFi connections are not protected and can easily be hacked. Making online purchases at home is the best way to make sure your identity is protected.

You should also only shop on websites that offer proper security. Look for sites that have an “https” before the URL. The extra “s” means that the site uses extra encryption that will help protect you from hackers. Most major sites, like Amazon or Walmart, have the extra encryption.

To make online transactions even safer, you can choose a security software suite that not only protects against viruses and malware, but also lets you make online transactions safely. Look for security suites with anti-keylogging options or one that offers secure browsers that are set up in an encrypted environment.

Even if you protect your online browsing, you should still make sure you have not become a victim of online identity theft. The best way to do this is to keep tabs on your credit card statements. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you should notice the unusual activity on your credit card statements. If you see any unusual activity, make sure to notify your credit card company immediately, as well as the police. Contacting the police may seem like overkill, but in many cases, you will need a criminal report in order to prove the theft.

While browsing safely and monitoring your credit card statements should help protect you, it is smart to go the extra mile and sign up for identity theft protection services. These services will monitor things that you can’t easily monitor, like your credit report and the black market, to check for people trying to open accounts in your name or trying to use your social security number without your permission. You can get a 30-day free trial of LifeLock here, as well as 10 percent off, if you want to test out the service before you commit to it.

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