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Internet user making online purchases for Cyber Monday.

Protect Yourself from Hackers and Identity Thieves as You Shop Online this Holiday Season

Holiday shopping can be fun or bring many mixed emotions and organized chaos. With all the online deals, it’s no secret that millions of consumers are looking to buy gifts for their loved ones at their favorite retailers online.

Choose secure passwords – yes we mean plural. Creating strong passwords is one of the easiest ways to protect your identity online. You should use a combination of numbers, upper and lower-case letters, as well as symbols. Passwords should not include any personal information that can be easily guessed (i.e., last name, surname, pet’s name, etc.) And your password should NEVER include any combination of digits from your social security number. Lastly, you should use different passwords across personal accounts, online retailers and work, that way if a hacker breaks one password they don’t have total access into your life.

Make sure your computer is protected. Before jumping online and buying a brand new TV or those concert tickets your niece has been begging for, make sure your anti-virus/anti-malware programs are not only installed, but are currently up-to-date. Also, make sure your wireless network is password-protected and set to “no broadcast” so outsiders can’t easily access your network.

Always use credit for online purchases, not debit. More protections exist for credit cards, and credit card companies generally resolve fraud claims in favor of the consumer. So, it can be wise to use credit cards for online purchases. However, keep in mind when using credit cards, to constantly review your accounts for any unauthorized use and report unusual activity if your bank doesn’t flag it automatically.

Make sure your connection is secure. Any time you’re visiting an online retailer, and want to make a purchase, check the left-hand side of the web address in your browser. If there is a green lock icon and the word “Secure” before “https:” then your information, like passwords and credit card numbers, is private when sent to the site.

Follow these 4 tips this Holiday Shopping Season and you’ll be better protected for all of your online shopping!

Please Note:This content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8); Citation Insurance CompanySM; The Commerce Insurance CompanySM; Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2); and MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5). Not all products available in all states.

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