What the Tech: Protecting your credit card info online

 Click and spend. It’s never been easier. Whether on your computer or using a smartphone, it’s probably too easy, and that’s a good thing for thieves who’d like to ruin Christmas.

To keep your money safe, check before you click. Look for the website address and make sure you’re shopping and spending on a website that starts with “https” The “s” stands for “secure” so you know you’ve got the right place and they’re protecting your information. It also has a tiny lock icon next to it. Don’t enter credit card info unless you see that.

Use a credit card, not a debit card. Credit card companies will hold money if there’s a dispute. Not true with a debit card, which takes money out of your account almost immediately.

Better yet, get a pre-paid credit card for online shopping. That way, cyber criminals can only steal the amount you have on the card. You can find these in many grocery stores. There’s a small charge each time you add money to it.

Use a dedicated computer for online shopping. Don’t use the same computer your kids play video games on. Some of those games install malware on your computer which can steal your information.

Change your password before and after the holidays and update your antivirus software. If you don’t have antivirus software, get one.

If you shop on your smartphone, a tablet or laptop, don’t do it over public wi-fi anywhere. You won’t know if someone nearby is nabbing your credit card information.

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