Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Shopping Online This Holiday Season? Here's How to Keep Your Data Safe

by Althea Chang, CNBC /

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The holiday shopping season is underway and there are deals galore on the Web. But those deals could give hackers more entry points to access online shoppers' personal information.

Online shoppers can take a few simple steps to make sure they don't end up as identity-theft victims this holiday season.

Michael Bruemmer, Experian's vice president of consumer protection, said shoppers should use prepaid credit or debit cards to limit their exposure while shopping online.

"The easiest thing you can do is have a throw-away credit card or debit card that you only use for shopping as well as potentially an email address," Bruemmer told CNBC's "Tech Bet."

Read More: Cramer: Top winner in red-hot cybersecurity

Experian also advises shoppers to avoid public Wi-Fi hot spots because many aren't secure, recommending that shoppers make all online purchases from home.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Read More: How Shopping Technology Forces Retailers to Alter Holiday Game Plans

Other sure-fire ways to keep your data safe include:

  • Keep your desktop and mobile software up to date. Software updates often improve the security of the personal information stored on your device, according to Experian.
  • Limit some activities on open public Wi-Fi connections, including avoiding checking email and online bank accounts.
  • Don't make purchases based on price alone. Make sure the seller is a trusted vendor. "If an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is," Experian said in an email.
  • On Web pages where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for "https," with an "s." That indicates your information will be encrypted, which scrambles data on its way to the retailer, according to Experian.

A couple of other tips:

  • Be wary of links included in emails. Instead of clicking on those links, type website URLs into the address bar of your browser, advises security software maker Kaspersky.
  • Turn on two-step authentication — also known as two-step verification or multifactor authentication — on accounts when it's an option. It adds a layer of protection beyond logon and password, according to the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

MORE FROM CNBC

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.