Online shopping and cybersecurity

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Browse, click, buy; It should be that simple. But with credit card hacks and fishing scams, you need to be proactive in protecting your personal information while shopping online.

Black Friday is less than three weeks away and this year about 20 million people will make their first purchase on a mobile device. When you get an email from a retailer promoting deals and discount codes, don’t click straight through.

It’s much more difficult to tell on your cell phone if the link in an email is legitimate. Instead, fire up your browser and type in the company’s address. You can use any promotional codes sent to you at check out.

Another warning — if you use mobile payment services like PayPal, Google Wallet or Apple Pay, be sure to install an app from a merchant you trust.

To fully protect your purchases, make sure those services are linked to a credit card rather than a debit card. It’s easier to report fraud when working with a credit company.

Finally, protect the phone itself. In 2014, technology company Symantec classified more than 1 million apps as malware.

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