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Columbia, SC (WLTX)- The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is warning shoppers to think twice before clicking on deals and swiping credit and debit cards.

"In 2013 we had over a half million consumers affected by security breaches in South Carolina," said Juliana Harris.

Harris is the communications coordinator with SCDCA, she says there is always a risk of becoming a victim of identity theft but there are ways to be smarter about it.

"Instead of using your debit card maybe use your credit card because there are a lot of consumer protections attached to a credit card," said Harris.

She also warns of using your cellphone to pay bills and downloading apps that could cause viruses.

"Technology is a great think and it is moving at a rapid pace but it is important to think of your smart phone as a mini computer."

Harris offers these additional tips:

-Password protect your cellphone

-Safeguard your Personal Information

-Don't place outgoing mail in your personal mailbox

-Check your credit reports annually

-Make sure there is an "HTTPS in the web browser when entering secure information

If you believe you have become a victim of identity theft you can contact SCDA's Identity Theft Unit at 800-922-1594

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