According to a 2016 report from American Express, 6 out of 10 consumers are choosing to purchase holiday gifts online. It's usually convenient and there is a lot of selection, however you could also be opening yourself up to identity theft. Credit and debit card chips have decreased identity fraud in stores, but online scammers have upped their game and become even more savage.

Here are some tips to avoid identity theft as you do your online shopping:

  • Use credit cards instead of debit cards. Your debit card is attached to your checking account and thieves could wipe out your cash and leave you short to pay for regular bills. Most credit cards also come with zero liability offers, so you aren't liable for fraudulent charges. That's not the case with debit cards!
  • Don't want to be committed to a credit card and possibly end up spending more than you should? Get a Visa. Mastercard or Amex gift card and load it with just what you'll need to cover your shopping. Brilliant, no?
  • When it comes to security questions attached to your accounts-LIE! There is way too much information out there about each of us on social media and online bios. It's far too easy to find out your mother's maiden name or your high school mascot. Make something ridiculous up. First car? Rudolph!
  • Two factor authentication is a must when an unfamiliar device is trying to log onto one of your accounts, that means that they have to receive confirmation by responding to an email or better yet, your cell phone.
  • Another mistake some people make is using the same password for all of their accounts, but that leaves them open to ALL of their accounts being compromised! Keep 'em separated!
  • Monitor your accounts and check your credit report.
  • Go paperless to prevent mail fraud.

Keep your money safe while online shopping and add any tips to the comment section of our Facebook Fan Page.

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