SAVING$ TIP$: Protect Yourself Against Scams During the Holidays and Year-Round

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Stay suspicious
Be wary of any offer that sounds too good to be true, and always look for telltale signs that an email or website may not be legitimate, such as low resolution images, misspellings, poor grammar, or odd links.

Practice safe surfing
Find out if a website is potentially dangerous before you click on it by using a safe search plug-in such as McAfee SiteAdvisor (Free). SiteAdvisor uses easy-to-read red, yellow, and green check marks to rate websites when you search for them.

Practice safe shopping
Stick to reputable e-commerce sites and look for a trustmark that indicates that the site has been verified as safe by a trusted third-party. Also, look for a lock symbol and  “https” at the beginning of the web address (as opposed to just “http”) to see if the site uses encryption to protect your data.

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Use strong passwords
Make sure your passwords are at least eight characters long and contain a variety of letters, numbers and characters that don’t spell anything. Avoid using the same password for your important accounts, and never share your passwords with anyone.

Be careful when clicking
Don’t click on any links in messages from people you don’t know, and if you come across a shortened URL, use a URL expander to see where the link is directed to before you click.

Use a comprehensive computer security
You need complete protection that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, and a firewall and make sure it is up to date. Online security and safety protection can help protect all of your devices – PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets – from holiday-related malware, phishing, spyware, and other common and emerging threats.

Educate yourself
Keep up-to-date on the latest scams and tricks cyber criminals use so you can avoid potential attacks. You can find helpful information on the Internet or at well-known antivirus developers such as McAfee.

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