Online shopping may be quick, convenient and fun, but there are also some risks attached to Internet shopping. If you are not aware of the hidden dangers online, it’s easy to become a target for scammers who look for gullible people to scam. Shopping online doesn’t have to be a scary experience though and there is no need to avoid making purchases online, you just need to learn about shopping online safely. Identity theft and fraud are real threats online. Anytime you enter personal information, especially credit card and bank routing numbers, it makes it that much easier for people to scam you and steal your . This can have a huge impact on your life as they run up your charge cards with purchases, steal from your bank account and potentially ruin your credit. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you don’t fall victim to fraud or identity theft. Shopping online safely is possible with a few tips. First of all, make sure the site you are making a purchase from is secured. If you can’t tell from the checkout page, look at the website’s fact section to see their safety policy. If you are unsure about the security of a connection or it is not a well-known or respected site, it is probably best to avoid making the purchase. Use a third-party payment system like Paypal when possible to avoid giving the seller your contact and credit card information. Also be sure to keep your computer settings at the safest level, blocking pop-ups and using a secure connection with the most current Internet browser. Use a firewall and be careful which emails you open, being careful not to open dangerous emails generally found in the spam folder. Regularly use a malware and spyware program to protect yourself from computer viruses that can read your information and abuse your accounts. There are some things you can do to minimize your risk of being a victim of fraud. One thing you can do is regularly change your online passwords, making them difficult to guess and not using the same password for every account in case there is an informational breach. You should also regularly check your credit report and go over your bank statements to be sure they don’t have fraudulent purchases. Immediately report any suspicious behavior and cancel any credit cards associated with fraudulent charges.