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Newsletter December 2011
Online Safety Tips

Hi Everyone,
Since we're in the holiday shopping season, we decided to devote today's issue to helping you stay safe if and when you do your holiday shopping online. We point you to our past advice on safe online shopping, and then present 7 brand new tips for shopping safely online during the holidays.

7 New Tips for Safe Holiday Online Shopping

We've written about safe online shopping several times before. In fact, many subscribers have told us that this article is the best article on shopping safely online they've seen anywhere, so we recommend you read it now.

We now want to offer 7 new additional tips for safer online shopping:

1. Don't use a debit card for online shopping. If there is a problem, a debit card could give phishers or hackers access to your entire checking and/or savings account. Plus, most debit cards don't have the same protections that credit cards offer.

2. Make sure all of your security software is up-to-date before you do your online shopping. That includes anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and firewalls.

3. Use a separate email account for your online shopping. You can set up a free email account on Google's Gmail or Yahoo, among others.

4. Check the privacy policy of any website you plan to purchase from. Make sure they have a privacy policy, that your data stay private to the merchant, and that they don't sell or rent your information to third parties.

5. Never enter personal information into a pop-up screen. Unauthorized pop-up screens can be created by identity thieves and the screen may be completely unrelated to the websites you are visiting. Legitimate companies don't ask you to enter personal or financial information on pop-up screens.

6. Never respond to emails asking you to "confirm" recent transactions after you shop. These are phishing scams that coincidentally are sent around the time you shop. For more on phishing, click here.

7. Trust your instincts. If you feel something isn't right, investigate more or buy from another vendor.

Finally, the FTC now offers a new online safety website in Spanish which includes information about online shopping for the holidays. If you know people who might benefit, send them here. FTC Web-site

That's it for today.
Enjoy your week -- and your Christmas shopping.

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