The lure of being able to shop from the comfort of home is stronger than ever, but online shopping also comes with risks, said Carol Young, Kansas State University Research and Extension financial management specialist.

Woman shopping securely online

To reduce risk, Young recommends reserving one credit card for online shopping to minimize cleanup or cancellations, if an account is breached.

"Keep the limit low and check statements regularly - and carefully," said Young, who offered these tips:

* Make sure the site is secure. The address will begin with https-the S is for secure; the bottom of the site will feature a padlock icon.

* Choose a reputable business.

* Do some homework about the product you want to buy and what it typically costs.

* Ask how the company protects personal information.

* Ask about payment options.

* Keep a record of your purchases.

* Be careful, if giving out personal information.

More information on personal financial management is available at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices and on the Extension Web site: www.oznet.ksu.edu/financialmanagement.

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