Cyber Monday: Protecting your financial information

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Think twice before shopping online on Cyber Monday. Think about what site you're giving your financial information to.

There are simple steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim and to keep your money in your wallet.

Hackers and scammers have become more sophisticated, meaning they'll make their games a little more believable and they're going to push even harder to get your information.

"Thinking that the deal is too good to pass up, usually that means that it's not a good deal and that they're there just trying to steal your information," said Amanda Griffith with WVU Information Technology.

There are things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. If e-mails about deals sound too good to be true, they probably are. Check on those deals for yourself by going to the company's website. Don't always click on the links in the e-mail. If there's an 'https' and a lock symbol, it's likely secure and safe.

"Always be aware of the sites that you're going to, to be sure they're secure, and you're not giving away information that's not necessary for your purchase," Griffith said.

"Have one card that you use for your online purchases so that you're not putting all of your financial information out there on multiple sites," she added.

When it comes to the information requested upon buying something, the sites should stick to the basics, such as your name, e-mail, phone number, and address to match the billing information. When the payment screen comes up, it should stick to the credit card number, expiration date, and security code.

"If sites are asking you for all sorts of details that could be used to reset your account like your mother's maiden name, and things like that. It's not necessary for your purchase so you don't need to provide that," Griffith said.

If you want to learn more tips, or how to report a scam or virus, WVU has tips by following this link: https://it.wvu.edu/security/defend-your-data