Cyber Monday: Tips to avoid identity theft

(CNN News) - The holidays are officially here, and that means your credit cards are likely getting warmed up for the month of gift-giving to come. But if you're going to pass your plastic over the Internet, you'll want to be careful to keep the identity thieves away.

The holiday deals keep coming. After all – it is cyber Monday -- and online retailers have made this the day for everyone returning to work after a long holiday weekend away to hide away at their desk and shop some more.

But if you want to take advantage of the online deals, make sure you do it safely. Computer hackers have found all kinds of ways to pry into your electronic accounts.

Don't take your laptop into a public place to sit and scroll through deals. Identity frauds go right to airports and cafes and set up their own networks, luring you to log into the fake one -- sites that may have the same name as the real one -- giving them access to your e-mail and bank accounts.

Another tip -- make sure you have privacy settings tight on all of your social media accounts. The more of your interests that are available for the public to see, the more likely a bad guy is likely to send you a fake "special offer" on something you might actually like. If you pass your info along to get that deal, the bad guy has your credit card numbers.

And finally, be wary of someone calling your home and pretending to be from a local business offering you a special deal in your hometown if you make a small purchase over the phone. This move could give a thief access to all of your information, too.
 

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