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How can you shop safer online?

The internet is a wonderful place; it has lots of things to buy and connects you to the rest of the world. It's also home to some people who want to steal from others. Between phishing scams and viruses, there are many ways to get financial information and other kinds of information out of people's computers.

Online shopping is extremely popular, but it does put people at risk of becoming victims of identity theft and other internet crimes. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a crime and from being accused of being an internet criminal.

Don't use public computers

The easiest way to avoid trouble is to use your own private computer. Public computers are easy to manipulate; someone looking to steal information could directly activate a virus or key logger to do just that. To avoid being accused of internet crimes, avoid using public computers, too. That way, there's no risk of accidentally logging into another person's account or using his or her information to make a purchase.

Use prepaid cards

Instead of using debit or credit cards linked to your bank account, use prepaid cards. These have only a limited amount of funds, so they're unlikely to be of interest to those interested in stealing money. To avoid being accused of using someone's prepaid card, always register or sign the card, so they can tell who it belongs to.

These are a couple tips for avoiding trouble when buying online. If you're accused of trying to take advantage of someone, remember that you can fight back by creating a strong defense against the allegations.

Source: 2News, "Cyber Monday tips for online shopping safety," Maytal Levi, accessed Dec. 11, 2017

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