Tech Tuesday: Protecting against holiday identitfy theft

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- With the holiday season upon us, your debit and credit cards may be getting more use than normal both online and off. That makes you more susceptible to identity theft during the holidays.

Caleb Drolshagen with AT&T joins NBC15's Leigh Mills to share tips on how to avoid falling victim to identity theft.

Some important tips include:

  • Don't shop online using a public Wi-Fi network

  • Even when shopping online via secured network, whether on your smartphone, tablet or computer, double-check that you're on the correct website or app. Thieves can clone websites, so before you check out or enter your credit card information, make sure there is a "lock" symbol on the left side of the URL, which confirms it's a secure site.

  • Guard your mobile device. Considering how many times you pull out our mobile device while holiday shopping, you're at greater risk of leaving it laying somewhere. In order to prevent unauthorized access, make sure your device auto-locks when it's not in use

  • Consider mobile pay. Payment options such as Apple Pay and Android Pay let you shop with your smartphone at retailers through certain apps.

  • Use a stricter log-in

  • Opt for stronger authentication. This is especially important for accounts with sensitive information regarding your email or bank accounts. A stronger authentication helps verify a user has authorized access to an online account.

  • Beware of scammers: A common tactic thieves use to steal your personal information is phishing. The thieves send you an email that appears to be from a legitimate source, like a popular retailer, which contains an altered URL. When you click on the link, you're sent to a fake web site designed to collect your personal information. Remember, never give out personal information online unless you initiated contact with the company.

Click here for more information from AT&T.