I-TEAM: As we head into the holiday shopping season, here's a look at the best ways to keep your info secure

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Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

(MGN)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- No lines, no crowds, and you can shop from the comfort of your couch.

No wonder more than half of shoppers under the age of 40 will buy online instead. But there is a downside – a big one. Every purchase you make online could compromise your bank account and personal information.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

“They might fall into that trap of believing that I don’t do it a lot, so I am not at risk when in fact you are,” Augusta University Assistant Cyber Security Professor Ron Martin said.

Whether you're an occasional online shopper or an Amazon addict, you need to check off Martin's security list.

No. 1: Wicked WiFi.

"Whenever you are out in public, don't use WiFi at all. Not public WiFi,” Martin said. “If you do, use a VPN."

A grinch could crack into your phone through public WiFi and use your personal information for their own shopping spree.

No. 2: Perfect password.

"Use a password database or password checker, something that manages your passwords for you,” Martin said.

Check out Dashlane or LastPass. The apps will assign a unique password to each website. The best part? The app stores the passwords. No more forgetting.
No. 3: Lookout for links.

"Understand they have been collecting data on you for a while at this point,” Martin said. “If you’ve been out shopping you been at Amazon, eBay any number of places they know you've been there, so they're probably going to be sending you, ‘Hey, we got a special this week, 20 percent off, use this code.’ Well fishers and scammers will know that as well."

"Don't click on links inside an email. If Amazon says, ‘Hey, we got something for you because you are a great customer. Go directly to Amazon, your browser, and type it into the browser.’ If there is something there for you, it will be there waiting in your account."

Think of these tips as giving yourself a gift this holiday season – the gift of security.

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