Holiday Shopping Security Tips

11/30/2018

The holidays are upon us and this year most of us will be doing our holiday shopping online. Please use the following guidelines to stay safe while shopping.

  • Shop at websites that you trust. Just like you shop in stores you know and like, it is best to shop at websites that you have trusted and used in the past. Attackers can create a site with hard to believe deals and lure you to give out sensitive information.
  • Before you place the order, take a look at the site’s return policy. Some sites can make the return process a hassle with additional fees that you will have to pay.
  • Beware of ads that have rock bottom prices. Ads and websites that offer something that is true good to be true is worth further review. Most of the time, these items may already be unavailable and may be tricks to lure you to the site to capture your information.
  • Avoid online shopping using public wi-fi as they may not have good controls in place and someone can be on the other side watching all of your moves and capturing your information.
  • Do not give too much information. No shopping site will ask you for Social Security number or ask for personal details such as your mother’s name. If you are prompted to give these questions, it is best to take a pause and do some research on the site before you start giving additional information.  
  • Pay with a credit card to get the best liability protection. Most credit cards offer $0 liability for fraudulent purchases.
  • Check your statements for fraudulent charges at least once a week or setup alerts via email or text about the charge.
  • Save your receipts while shopping in case you need to go back to the vendor or in the event the charge to your account does not match.
  • Beware of emails that contain links and attachments or includes an offer that is too good to be true.
  • Verify the security of the site before you shop. Shopping sites should start with HTTPS and a lock icon.
  • Ensure that you enter the correct address and there are no errors on where the package should be sent it. Likewise, if you do not get your package on time contact the merchant.