Keep your info safe: Tips to protect yourself when shopping online

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MILWAUKEE — It's getting easier and easier to get all your holiday shopping done without leaving home -- just go online.  However, online shopping comes with some risks.

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Steve Kelly

The internet makes things easier for you, but it also makes it easier for thieves to steal your information.

Steve Kelly is the president of of Intego — a Seattle-based company that develops computer software. Kelly says there's things you can do to protect your credit card information when shopping online.

Before you even start, make sure the site you're shopping on is secure. You should look for a lock icon on the URL and make sure the website starts with HTTPS.

"If you've already done your shopping, probably you can go back and simply log on to the account that you created and at the point where you type in your information to log in, if you see the security lock in your browser, you're probably fine," Kelly said.

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Look for a lock icon and https to ensure a website is safe.

When you go to buy something, you typically create an account. When you create that account, it is fine to use the same username on different websites, but the passwords should be different.

"If they steal your password for this site, if you used the same kind of username and password at another site, they are going to be able to guess that," Kelly advised.

If you can use an app instead of a desktop, Kelly recommends doing so.

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Shop with stores apps. If it's in an app store it likely doesn't contain malware.

"If an application makes it into the app store at all, you should have a fairly high degree of certainty that it's not malware or something bad and that it is from a legitimate retailer," Kelly said.

Finally, avoid using public Wi-Fi. Public connections are easier for hackers to access and steal your information.