How to Shop Smart & Secure Online

1. Shop at home! Using an internet café to check sports stats or celebrity gossip? Knock yourself out. But if you’re going to enter credit card information into a strange computer you might as well hand your wallet to strangers walking down the street. Public computers are a cesspool of viruses, so stay away from punching in your card number on any machine that isn’t yours. The business suite at a five-star hotel is no safer than the computer lab at the public library.

4. Password protection! Why make life easier for a computer hacker? When you use the same password for everything from your email, to Facebook, to your J.Crew account, it’s like giving hackers the keys to your car, house and office. The rule of thumb is to have one password for shopping, one for banking and one for everything else. No exceptions, Carmen says, and change them often to keep the bad guys guessing.