Keep your Wallet Safe This Christmas

The holiday season is when we get to spend time with loved ones, give to our community, and….SHOP. We all know to practice safety measures when shopping in the malls and out in town, such as “hiding” your pin, and the introduction of the “chip readers”. With online shopping expected to surpass instore shopping for the first time ever this holiday season, it is even more important to be aware of some simple ways to keep your wallet safe online.

Free Wifi

It may be appealing to go to your favorite coffee shop, order that peppermint mocha, and sink in to do a little shopping, but this is a bad idea. You should never enter your personal information or credit card information using a public Wi-Fi connection.  In fact, it’s a good idea not to perform any actions on your phone that may contain your personal information while using public Wifi such as checking you back accounts.

Is it a “real” online store?

Research the online retailer prior to making a purchase. Clicking ads or links can direct you to fake pop-up shops online that never actually send out the products. Prior to purchasing from an online store, search their name in a trusted browser and verify you’re on the company’s real website.  Take a moment to check reviews. You may also find that they ship later than you need or the quality of the products are inferior.

It’s in the Statement

Check your bank or credit card statements regularly.  During the holiday season, it’s recommended to check accounts daily.  This is true even if you have been shopping in stores.   Deloitte actually states that shopping in stores can be more risky than online this year. The earlier you spot a problem, the better. Many bank apps now allow you to shut down your card immediately after you login and see fraudulent transactions or if you lose your debit/credit card.

Update P@$$w0rd$

These days, everyone is asking for passwords. Many even make you create “strong” passwords. This is not to be annoying.  It is for your protection. During the holidays, update your passwords to bank accounts, social accounts, etc. Never use your name, pets name, phone number or other familiar information. Hackers have figured that out!

From our family to yours, have a wonderful holiday and shop safely!