‘Tis the season for celebrating, shopping and thieves. Whether you are hitting the stores on Black Friday or surfing the Internet on Cyber Monday, there are safeguards you can take, physically and digitally, to have a safer shopping experience.
As we enter into this busy holiday season we offer a few tips to help you to navigate the perils that present themselves, not just during the holidays but, everyday.
In the stores:
- Be mindful of card skimmers. If the ATM or card-reading device looks or acts odd-don’t use it. Request personal assistance from the cashier to enter the information manually into the core system.
- If using a debit card to pay for purchases take care of anyone who might be standing too close. Shoulder surfing can rob you of your credentials.
- Don’t use public WiFi for shopping.
- Turn off location services to avoid unwanted tracking and connections while shopping.
- Use Secure websites. Check for the closed padlock or HTTPS in the address bar.
- Be suspicious of great deals that entice you to click now or have other sense of urgency.
- Use strong passwords. Use different passwords for different sites.
- Never store your personal information, credit card or password online.
- Don’t install software that the site requires prior to shopping their site.
On mobile devices:
- Only download apps from vetted app marketplaces like Apple and Google Play.
- Keep apps up-to-date and delete old apps.
- Restrict apps from accessing contacts, location or other unnecessary information.
In addition, watch your credit card statements and banking activity for any suspicious entries. Check your credit rating.
These tips can help to keep you safe and secure throughout the year. Make sure to share this information with family, friends and co-workers.