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Marino on Money: October 22

READ MORE: Marino on Money: October 22

Do you use the computer to shop? More and more people are staying at home to find gifts. Over 30 percent of households told the National Retail Federation this year that they planned to shop online for back-to-school needs. Now with the holidays around the corner people once again are firing up the computer to purchase gifts for friends and family. If you plan on shopping online, be careful with your identity. Thieves have some pretty ingenious ways of finding out much more about you than you'd like. Here are some tips to keep you safe when shopping online:

- Don't click on email links!
- Mix up your passwords
- Watch for "phishing" schemes

1) Never click on links in unsolicited emails, even if it tells you it's connecting to a trusted retailer. Always type the name of the retailer into the computer's browser yourself.
2) Stay away from obvious passwords like your birth date, Social Security number, or your mother's maiden name. And yes, wolfpack1 and goheels2 are terrible passwords.
3) Don't reply to emails from your bank or a retailer asking you to verify personal information. Banks and retailers won't ask for this type of verification online. These are called "phishing" schemes, and you avoid the thieves who create them by picking up the phone and calling a retailer or your bank if they ask for personal information online.

With just a few simple steps: avoiding clicking on links, no obvious passwords, and watching out for phishing scams, you'll have a much safer experience shopping online this holiday season.

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