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When shopping online, always check out as a guest.

The reason why is obvious — it keeps your personal data off the company’s website, which in turn keeps you safe in the event of a hack.

But for the sake of convenience, many people still choose to create accounts with the retailers they use most, leaving their names, addresses and credit card information vulnerable.

RELATED: Watch out for fake store apps when you do your holiday shopping

CNET’s Dan Graziano recommends against making password-protected profiles with online stores. One reason is because it isn’t always easy to remember passwords (unless you write them down, which also isn’t a good idea; if you do it anyway, be sure to store them in a locked box). But the main reason is because data breaches, which are becoming more and more common, can expose your personal information to the world.

If you absolutely must create a password, Graziano says it’s best to:

  • Make a new one: That is, don’t use the same password for every website and service.
  • Make a strong one: Throw in random symbols, spaces and capital letters.
  • Make a verified one: If two-step verification is offered, use it — it adds an extra layer of security.


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