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Cyber Monday Launches Black Hat Shopping Season

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Yup, the holidays are here. And I don't know about y'all, but the last thing I plan on doing is walking into any store to buy anything. Other than to get food, most of my shopping is generally done online.

4WPeople always ask me, "Aren't you concerned your identity will be stolen? Don't you worry about always giving out your credit card over the internet?" And I say nope. Not worried. Don't care. Never have been. And neither should you. Seriously.

BUT! You still have to do something first to make sure that, to a certain degree, you will not end up a victim of fraud. And there are things you should do after you hand over your account information to monitor your accounts.

But no, you shouldn't worry. Just do this:

Secure your devices: No matter what device or operating system you use, your data is only as secure as its hardware and software. That means updating everything and locking everything up, too.

Operating system: Each device's manufacturer provides frequent software updates with critical security patches designed to patch any vulnerabilities that were discovered by researchers or criminal hackers. Set critical security patches to update automatically.

Browser: Your browser needs to be updated to its latest version for the same reason an operating system does. Only enter credit card numbers in sites that have HTTPS in the address bar. That means there's encryption on that page.

Wireless: Always use an encrypted wireless connection using, at a minimum, WPA or WPA2 encryption. Otherwise, use a virtual private network software like one from Hotspot Shield VPN.

Websites: Only buy from legitimate websites that you already use for shopping--sites like Amazon and eBay that you know are relatively safe. Once you stray too far off the ranch, you risk your device being infected, plus orders you place may never arrive and your credit card numbers risk being used without your authorization.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247. Disclosures.