It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the holidays: parties, school and work events, gifts for friends and families. But don’t overlook how easy it is to compromise your personal and financial information. Our tips below will help you shop online confidently and safely:
Shop at reputable sites
Make sure you’re shopping at a secure site by looking for “https://” at the beginning of the web address. The “s” means the site is secure and your information is encrypted. These sites are safe to enter your personal information and credit or debit card number.
Change your passwords frequently
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and try to change your passwords frequently – every 30 days is the recommendation by the Better Business Bureau. If that sounds like a lot to remember, you can use a password manager or try using pass phrases instead. They’re harder for cyber criminals to hack but can still be memorized.
Shop on secure networks
The public wi-fi at your favorite coffee shop might be great for checking the news, but when it comes to shopping, make sure you use a secure network. Anyone could be watching your activity on a public wi-fi network, making your data vulnerable to hackers.
Be aware of scams
Be smart about the types of ads you’re clicking – whether they’re pop-up ads or sent to your email. Unless you’re sure about the retailer, avoid clicking as it’s an easy way for hackers to capture your information. Phishing emails often contain typos or grammatical errors. Check the sender’s email address before you reply or click.
Pay with a credit card
Credit cards usually offer the best liability protection. Federal regulations state card users do not have to pay unauthorized charges while the card company investigates. Be sure to report any suspicious activity immediately, no matter the amount. Some scammers will test access to accounts by making small charges, then follow-up with much larger charges.
This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.