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5 Safety Tips For Holiday Online Shopping

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1. "Go straight to the site." Rather than browse to online retailers through a search engine where you may encounter malicious links, type the store's URL directly in your browser.


2. "Be strict about passwords." Use a different password for each site, don't let the browser store passwords for you, and consider using a password manager instead of writing down all your passwords manually.


3. "Look for the 'signs of security.'" Always look for the https prefix in the URL and the padlock icon in the browser's status bar. If you shop at an online retailer that uses SSL encryption, make sure the address bar turns green as a signal that the page is secure.


4. "Keep PayPal your pal." Check your PayPal accounts frequently to look out for any fraud. Use a credit card rather than a debit card online so you can stop payments quickly in the event of a problem.


5. "Watch for seasonal scams." Be cautious with e-mails claiming to be shipping confirmation or package alerts that force you to open a file attachment. Delete any message that claims to provide tracking information but doesn't include a tracking number. Your best bet is to track a package through the retailer's or shipper's Web site.



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