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Savvy Consumer For 2013

January 9, 2013, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Savvy Consumer For 2013

Technology puts the world at our fingertips, but it can also make us more vulnerable to scams and identity theft. The Better Business Bureau wants you to take some simple steps to protect yourself. 

The very first place to make sure you protect yourself in 2013 is on social media sites. Double check your privacy settings to ensure you aren't giving out personal information to strangers.  And be careful what you share online.

"Don't give out a ton of information. We see all the time with social media, people get caught because everything is out there and we're an open book. Try and keep that stuff a little closer to the vest," Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau said.

When it comes to protecting your identity online, be vigilant to make sure you're using a trusted website and even then, don’t check the boxes that let you store your information. 

“Don't leave your credit card out there. When you order off a site, don't leave your credit card information on there. We see all the time these businesses get hacked and people's private information gets taken.  That's how that happens,” Schmidt said.

And whether you're looking to buy a product or hire someone, make sure you do your research to check the business out. And be wary of online reviews.

“Be cautious of some of those review sites because a business can load them up with positive reviews and we guard against that on the BBB site,” Schmidt said.

The Better Business Bureau's website will give you a grade rating for businesses and tell you if there are any complaints against it. 

“Do the research, protect your computer, protect yourself, Schmidt said.

The Better Business Bureau also wants to remind you to never wire money to someone you don't know; especially if it's out of the country.  As we've shown you time and time again on Your Money Matters, that's how many people are scammed.

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