But convenience doesn't come without some cost and that cost has been the increase in fraud and identity theft. But it's not all doom and gloom! There are some basic simple actions you can take to help ensure your online accounts and privacy are not compromised.
- Never give more personal information than is required - no-one needs to know your social security number!
- When choosing a password the longer the better - use a minimum of 7 characters and try to use a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters. This will provide a stronger password. Try and avoid using common everyday words for the password. It may be tempting to use easy to remember words or dates but these are more easily guessed and broken by brute force.
- Never share your password with anyone
- When paying for goods online or submitting personal information (for example when creating accounts), ensure the padlock symbol is showing the browser bar. This must be followed by "https://" rather than the plain "http://" at the start of the web address, and means that the information you are submitting will be encrypted when it is sent, making it harder for someone to 'eavesdrop' on your communication.
- If you believe your password or account has been compromised inform the website owners immediately
- Help keep your computer secure by keeping it up-to-date with antivirus and anti-spam software and the latest operating system updates.
For more tips and information about shopping safely online you may like to visit the websites listed below:
Get Safe Online (UK Site)
Stay Safe Online (US Site)
 Ecommerce credit cards by Stormkatt at flickr https://flic.kr/p/dLXmXM
 Browser bar by H Masters