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HO-HO-hold on before you click on a link delivered to you in an email.

December 7, 2016

 Can't wait to buy that Chia Pet for 80 percent off? Beware clicking on links you receive from unfamiliar websites. It could be a "phishing" scheme, where shoppers who click through are led to a false site developed to steal their data. If the deal is too good to pass up, enter the website name by hand into your browser.

There’s no place like home for the holidays... for safe online holiday shopping. Remember, a secure network connection - like that in most homes or workplaces - is ideal. Public Wi-Fi can be hacked by someone with the right tools, exposing your passwords, billing information and other sensitive data. Therefore, if you’re using a public connection, it’s best to limit yourself to window-shopping and price comparing, rather than buying.

Deck your halls: A security app is more than ornamental window dressing -it’s vital for online shopping. Webroot found that only 40 percent of respondents have a security app installed on their smartphones and tablets, putting their devices and personal information at risk. Take a hint from older surfers: While younger users more often use their devices for shopping - to place orders, compare prices and download coupons - the survey found that users ages 50 and older were more likely to have security on their device.

Above all, to stay healthy and wealthy, you’ve got to be wise. Just as you would exercise caution with your wallet and belongings in a crowded store, remember to be as vigilant in the World Wide Mall. The number one way to protect your device and data is to install mobile anti-virus software and make sure it is up to date. In fact, it just might be the perfect gift for everyone on your shopping list!

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