Crime Week: Keeping your information protected online

It only takes a few clicks online to become a victim of a scam. From your identity being taken to your accounts hacked, we talked with cyber protection experts about ways we can stay safe when we're online.

Protect your passwords. Use a different password for different sites. Make your password something uneasy to guess or something that isn't common.

"It's so critical that we protect those passwords on our computer because we have just tons of personal and confidential financial information on our computers. If they in fact are able to get that information, our passwords and pin numbers, they can access our bank accounts our investment accounts and it can potentially create all kinds of financial havoc for us as consumers." Parrell Grossman with the North Dakota Consumer Protection Attorney General Office says.

Be aware of who you give information to. Be skeptical if someone is asking you online or on the phone for your personal information.

Be aware of all your accounts and check them often. Associate Director of the NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research, Dr. Jeremy Straub, says a scammer will try to get in your account and you out fast so they can control it. He adds if you can't log into an account you should immediately contact someone because it could help stop a scam.

The holiday season is a big time of the year for scammers. Grossman says if a deal is too good to be true think about the purchase. Look if it's on a secure site, and if you are still unsure don't go through with the purchase so scammers can't have your money information.

Another scam during the holidays is fake charitable donations being asked for online. Grossman says in some cases it's best to donate money to a local organization you know and trust.

NDSU's Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research says they try to help consumers by telling them of recent scams and answering their questions. For more on them look to the link to the right of this story.

For more on current scams, how to protect yourself and “Spear Phishing” look to the links to the right of this story.