1. Shop at well-known companies, and research ones you’re not familiar with. There are plenty of fake and malicious websites out there this time of year. When considering a purchase from an unfamiliar company, be sure to read reviews and gauge the experience others have had. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t be fooled by the lure of a great discount.
2. Beware of seasonal scams, and always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments. Fake package tracking emails, fake e-cards, charity donation scams, and phishing emails asking you to confirm purchase information are particularly prevalent around the holidays. Don’t become the victim of a holiday phishing scam; think twice before you click and when in doubt, throw it out!
3. Look for https (not http) in the address bar. Before using your credit card online, be sure to check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.
4. Keep a clean machine. Before shopping online, make sure that your computer, apps, browser, and antivirus/antimalware software are patched and up to date. Shopping on an unpatched machine is similar to leaving the front door of your home unlocked while away.
5. Check your credit card and bank statements regularly. If your information is compromised online, one of the first indicators is fraudulent charges linked to your financial accounts. It is important to monitor your statements, and report any discrepancies immediately. Additionally, most banking apps and sites provide the option to receive text message alerts for any transactions over a set amount. It is recommended to configure these alerts and use them to spot signs of unusual activity.
- November 29, 2018
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