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If you're planning on doing the bulk of your holiday shopping online you're not alone, according to a new study by New LifeLock, showing that a third of people are on point to do most or all of their shopping online. Yet, 71% are also worried about keeping their financial data and identity safe.
Protecting their identity trumps taking part in holiday festivities for many, with 49% indicating that if they had to choose between getting a present and keeping their identity safe they would choose to forgo presents this year. What event would ruin the holidays for people? For 50% its identity theft, followed by unanticipated issues getting in the way of sharing the holidays with friends and family (22%) and not having the money to buy gifts for family and friends (17%). Yet for 11% none of these things would get in the way of having a fun holiday season.
While there is risk, according to LifeLock there are things people can do to stop cyber thieves. "In general, the more you do and share online, the more your risk increases to be a victim of identity theft," she said. "But there are some simple things you can do to help protect yourself whether shopping online or in stores."
Safeguard your credit card and personal data
Life lock has come up with some tips to help people stay safe. First things first – they suggest taking care when giving out personal information to get promotional offers and such, and not saving credit card information on retailer sites, this way if they are hacked they don't get your information too. Also those emails we all get with promotional inks can be phishing scams, so make sure they really go to the website of the retailer that sent it to you and not elsewhere.
When shopping online look for the locked green padlock toward the left side of the URL and the "https" in the Web address bar to ensure security. When you're checking out online don't finish the transaction if they do not ask for the CVV2 security code, found on the other side of your card.
For safety shop with a credit card
What payment card should you use? Life lock suggests that whether shopping with a mobile app or online credit cards offer a higher level of security when it comes to fraud. For instance, in most cases people are not held responsible for unauthorized purchases on a credit card, beyond $50 in most cases. On the other hand, a hacker who has gotten your debt card can do a lot of damage, including wiping out your bank account, until the issue is fully investigated and resolved.
They suggest that online or mobile payment services, like Android Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal are great ways to protect yourself too.
When shopping stay away from public Wi-Fi systems, whether free or paid, because they can be hacked. Instead opt to use your cellular network instead.
Last but not least keep an eye on your accounts, whether checking in yourself or signing up for text and email alerts, so you can catch fraud early on if it happens. And change your passwords to ones that are unique.
The LifeLock Survey was conducted by Harris Poll in the U.S. between October 20 and 24, 2016. They used a sampling of 2,001 U.S. adults who are aged 18 and up.