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3 Smart Ways to Protect Your Identity on Cyber Monday

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identity theft, Cyber MondayIn the event you survive the crush of maddened, desperate shoppers who would slit their grandmother’s throat to save ten bucks on a wireless printer from Wal-Mart, don’t celebrate just yet. While the retail world prepares to close the door on another Black Friday, Cyber Monday lurks right around the corner. Haven’t heard of Cyber Monday yet? Sad sad sad. Begun as a random experiment in 2005, Cyber Monday kicks off the week after Black Friday with a number of online deals, some hot, some not.

The idea seems to be picking up steam though, with average online shopping up 16% on this day alone. But the trouble that exists any time you make an Internet purchase lies in the very real possibility you could become a victim of identity theft. In case you’re wondering if identity theft is fun, people like John Sileo, identity theft expert say, “Heck no!” Here are three ways to protect yourself from becoming the next victim.

1. Avoid Shopping on Public Wi-Fi: We shouldn’t even have to mention this one but there are Internet shoppers out there whacked out of their minds on Starbucks coffee who fire up the old laptop and credit card while waiting for their next order. Big mistake. Unsecured connections like this are ever so easy for a hacker to crack. It’s best to use an ethernet connection at home for online purchases.

2. Watch Your Accounts: This time of year, money drains out of your account like a sink without a stopper, all hopefully a result of your legitimate shopping. Still, it’s a good idea to log onto your credit and checking accounts more frequently than usual to insure an identity thief isn’t sliding his purchases in with yours.

3. Trustworthy Websites: It’s bad shopping policy to simply click on the first link Google returns that carries (or claims to) the object of your heart’s desire. Make sure that the website you buy from is trusted and known by you to be reliable. Type the web address directly into your browser to prevent hijackings, and please don’t shop on price alone. Anyone can throw up a fancy looking website with prices that undercut every other vendor – the question arises, does he actually have any inventory in stock or is he simply swiping credit card numbers?

Holistic Survival Show host Jason Hartman recently interviewed Mr. Sileo on podcast #39. To learn these and more ways to protect yourself from the scary prospect of identity theft on Cyber Monday, click here to listen to the interview in full. Yes, Virginia, it is free.

The Holistic Survival Team

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Flickr / Don Hankins

 

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