Web Exclusive: Avoiding Grinches trying to steal your identity

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - The holidays are officially here, and that means your credit cards are likely getting warmed up for the month of gift-giving to come. But if you're going to pass your plastic over the internet during cyber week, you'll want to be careful to keep the identity thieves away.

Computer hackers have found all kinds of ways to pry into your electronic accounts. Security experts say don't take your laptop into a public place to sit and scroll through deals. Identity frauds go right to airports and cafes and set up their own networks, luring you to log into the fake one, sites that may have the same name as the real one, giving them access to your e-mail and bank accounts. 

Another tip, make sure you have privacy settings tight on all of your social media accounts. The more of your interests that are available for the public to see, the more likely a bad guy is likely to send you a fake "special offer" on something you might actually like. If you pass your info along to get that deal, the bad guy has your credit card numbers. 
Be wary of someone calling your home and pretending to be from a local business offering you a special deal in your hometown if you make a small purchase over the phone. This move could give a thief access to all of your information, too.



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