7 Tips for Shopping Online Safely and Prevent Identity Theft

Use these tips and prevent identity theft when shopping online

As a smart Internet user, you obviously want to prevent identity theft and protect your personal information. To do so, you may feel you have to avoid shopping online because you worry about the safety of your credit card information and whether it leaves you susceptible to identity theft. If you want to be able to shop online and keep your identity safe, follow these tips.

Tip #1 -- Keep your browser updated

Whether you use Internet Explorer, Safari, or FireFox for your browser, it pays to keep the latest updates installed on your computer. Browsers constantly update their software looking for ways to keep visitors safe online and stay on top of the latest Internet frauds. Always install their safety updates.

Tip #2 -- Look for the "S"

Before you place any orders online, look for the "s" in the URL in your browser window -- it should start with https rather than just http. If the site is secure, there will be that extra "s" indicating it is a secure server.

Tip #3 -- Read privacy policies

Every reputable site contains a privacy policy. Read the site's policy and find out if they sell or share information with other sites. If so, take your business elsewhere.

Tip #4 -- Don't use debit cards online

Many sites allow you to make purchases with credit cards or debit cards. If possible, always use your credit card. Credit cards contain protections and can limit your liability -- which is something that most debit cards don't offer.

Tip #5 -- Only provide information that is necessary

When shopping online, don't offer any information that isn't absolutely essential to the purchase of the product. Be wary if any site asks for your social security number or bank account.

Tip #6 -- Use anti-spyware software

Take advantage of anti-spyware available online. Anti-spyware software tracks who saves your information and takes the spyware off of your computer.

Tip #7 -- Install a firewall

By installing a dependable firewall, you are automatically notified when a site is safe to shop and when it isn't.

By following these tips, you should be able to shop online without any problem and help prevent identity theft from happening to you.

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