Keeping Your Information Safe on Black Friday

creditcardsRemember last year when a Target employee hacked all of those credit cards? Well with Black Friday coming up in just days, it’s a good time to take some steps to protect your information.

Shopping online is a great way to get the deals while avoiding the crowds. But make sure that when you’re shopping online you’re careful about which sites you use. Online shopping can be perfectly safe, when done correctly. An easy way to check to make sure the site is secure is by looking for a small padlock icon near the address bar or the upper right-hand corner of your browser window. Another way is to make sure the URL begins with “http://”.

Shopping in stores may not be quite as easy or stress free as online shopping, but it’s probably the easiest way to avoid having any information stolen from you. The very simple solution to all of this madness is simply taking cash out before you go shopping. Not only will this protect your credit card information, but it will make it easier for you to keep track of how much you’re spending and how much you are still willing to spend in order to cut down on that day-after guilt. Sometimes when it’s 2a.m. and you see that there’s a clay horse sculpture on sale you just can’t resist. Having a set budget may help you to avoid those spur of the moment purchases.

Lastly, phone calls and emails from anyone claiming to be from your bank or a store are other possible ways hackers are attempting to steal information. Always use caution when answering these and watch out for fishy links in any emails.

Black Friday is a great way to save on your holiday gift shopping, but like anything it’s important to be smart about it.

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