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12 Tips of Cyber Monday, Online Shopping Tips

1. Update all Apps/ Devices Be sure to keep all computers, browsers, and mobile devices updated and patched.

2. Use a unique password for every unique site. Use a free password manager like Last Pass.

Enable 2 factor for all sites

3.Do not use public computers or public wireless for online shopping. Use VPN with any untrusted wireless network Two good options: Nord or PIA

4. Pay with a credit card rather than debit card. Some debit cards do not have the same consumer protections as credit cards.

5. Limit your online shopping to merchants you know and trust. Confirm the online seller's physical address, where available, and phone number in case you have questions or problems.

6. Beware of e-skimmers. Hackers sometimes skim your credit card at gas stations or ATMs. The same is now happening online shopping websites. A "e-skimmer" steals your card data when you check out. You can prevent that by using PayPal or Amazon.

7. Do not respond to pop-ups. When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it by pressing Control + F4 for Windows and Command + W for Macs.

8. Do not click on links or open attachments in emails from financial institutions/vendors. The emails could be spoofed and contain malware. Instead, contact the source directly.

9. Don't Save personal information online. When purchasing online, you may be given the option to save your personal information online for future use (Not Recommended). Consider if the convenience is really worth the risk.

10. Don't ever give your financial information or personal information via email or text. Do not use sites that ask for personal information i.e. Social Security number.

11. Check Your Location and Privacy Settings. Many apps and websites will automatically share your GPS location by default. Know what information the merchant is collecting about you, how it will be stored, how it will be used, and if it will be shared with others.

12. Be very careful when you see a free offer during the holidays. There is an explosion of all kinds of survey fraud and gift card scams.

Where to get help with an online shopping site

Your State Consumer Agency -

The Better Business Bureau -

The Federal Trade Commission -

Internet Crime Compliant Center

By using caution and following these tips, you can help secure your computer or device, and help protect your information. If you need help with a specific device, email

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