Tips to Protect Your Financial Information When Shopping Online

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Cybercriminals are looking for any opportunity to steal your tax and financial data. Theft of your Social Security number could result in a false tax filing. Take these extra steps to protect your financial information, Social Security numbers, and credit card data:

Avoid unprotected Wi-Fi. Unprotected, public Wi-Fi, available in coffee shops or other public places, could give thieves the ability to view your browsing activity.

Check your URLs for the “s.” If there is an “s” in “https” at the start of the URL, then the site is secure. There may also be a “lock” icon in the browser’s URL bar. Also, be careful making purchases at unfamiliar sites or clicking on links from pop-up ads.

Secure your computer. Lock down your computers, phones, and tablets using security software. This will help to protect your devices from malware that could steal data or infect the device with a virus.

Password length matters. Use a minimum of 10 characters or longer, with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid words, if possible.

Tips adapted from IRS.gov and RetirementisChanging.com