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Technology Basics

The fundamentals of gadgets, including how to buy them, how to manage them―and how to behave when you're using them.

Top Picks

The Best Digital Cameras
Check out the best digital cameras.

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How to Navigate Tech Stores

Ready, set, shop: Stay in control by doing some advance research and planning
Photo: Justin Bernhaut

Web Cookies: All You Need to Know

What they are and how to delete them.
Photo:  Amy Wilson

Computer Ports: All You Need to Know

Although the ports may look interchangeable, each has a unique and vital purpose.
Photo: Burcu Avsar

How to E-Mail Photos

Follow these steps to e-mail pictures in a flash.
Photo: Lucas Allen
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Tech Pitfalls

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Avoid These Common Scams
Learn how to avoid the most common swindles—from high-tech password theft to low-tech door-to-door hustles. 

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The Hidden Costs of Free Apps
Learn how to avoid the hidden costs of "free" apps.

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Illustration of cyber-criminal stealing a user's identity through a movie download site

10 Ways to Protect Your Identity

Identity theft affects millions of Americans each year. You don't want to be one of them. Here's what you can do to safeguard your personal information.

  • Protect your Social Security number and card. Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet or put your number on your checks. Disclose it only when absolutely necessary, using other types of ID whenever possible. If your current driver’s license includes your Social Security number, ask to substitute another number. The same goes for your health insurance policy.
  • Buy a shredder. Some identity thieves go Dumpster-diving to retrieve personal information. Always tear up receipts, old credit card statements, and other personal documents; running them through a shredder is even better. Deposit all outgoing mail in secure mailboxes, preferably at a post office.
  • Set up secure locations for personal information. At home, have a safe or a lockable file cabinet in which you can store sensitive material. While you’re at work, stow your purse or wallet in a desk drawer or a cabinet. One with a lock is best.

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