The holiday shopping season is already in full gear and everyone is hustling and bustling to get their gifts purchased. I personally love this time of year and like many other people, I like to shop online because it's convenient and I can do it from the comfort of my own home. I don't have to deal with the traffic or crowds and it can be very cost-effective as there are loads of free shipping deals.

From now until the end of December, I always think this is a good time of year to remind people, 'Tis the Season to Shop Safely. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Never use a debit card while shopping online. Debit cards are linked to your bank account and if the card number is stolen, cyber criminals could get direct access to your account and your funds could be at risk.
  • Use a dedicated credit card for ordering online. If there are fraudulent charges that you need to dispute, most credit card companies will reverse the transactions.
  • Use a different e-mail account for shopping. This will help eliminate companies sharing your information with others and if they do, the result is spam! You can delete the email account without impacting your personal email.
  • Never save your credit card information on a Web site. Remember to always clear the fields and close the browser window.

For additional online shopping safety tips, here are links to some of my previous Comcast Voices posts:

Also don't forget, if you're an Xfinity Internet customer the Constant Guard™ Protection Suite, which is included for no additional charge with your Internet subscription, now has IDENTITY GUARD® to help prevent identity theft.

Enjoy this time of year with your family and friends and remember this simple rule of thumb — make good decisions and use the same common sense in a real-world shopping experience when shopping online at home. If an online offer seems too good to be true, it could be a scam, which is why you should shop from online retailers that you trust.

Happy Holidays!