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The holiday online shopping season is a prime time for cyber criminals and identity thieves to trick shoppers into giving up financial, identity or password information.
The Internal Revenue Service and its partners urge you to follow a few safe practices that will increase your security online and help protect you from identity theft.
Here are a few basic steps to make your shopping season safer:
- Look for the “s” in “https”. The “s” in the opening URL stands for security. The “https” means the site uses secured, encrypted technology.
- Don’t use a public Wi-Fi to shop online. Do not make online purchases or financial transactions while connected to a public Wi-Fi.
- Avoid phishing emails. Beware of emails asking you to update your accounts, for example from your credit card company, bank, tax software provider or internet provider.
- Skip online employment offers. Along with retail “special” offers in your inbox, the holiday season also brings special, unsolicited job offers – promising “mystery shopping” jobs or work-from- home employment for extra cash.
- Shop with reputable online retailers. If a retailer is unknown to you, check them out a bit before providing any information.
- Review financial statements frequently. Keep a close eye on your credit card and/or bank statements.