Shopping Security Tips for the Holiday Season
shoppers than ever are turning to mobile devices and computers
to do their holiday shopping. However, internet shopping has
unique risks for consumers, so shoppers need to take steps to
protect themselves from fraud and scams. Here are a few tips for
novice and veteran internet shoppers.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Any purchases made online require transmitting your credit
card and/or bank account information over the internet. Using a
public Wi-Fi connection to do so puts that sensitive information
at risk. Hackers can tap into unsecured Wi-Fi connections at
hotspots like coffee shops and airport terminals to capture that
information. If you're using a wireless connection to shop, be
sure that it requires a password or WEP key.
Don't respond to text solicitations
During the holiday shopping season, scammers may send out fake
deals or offers via cell phone text message. If you respond,
you'll likely be prompted to divulge sensitive financial
information or to confirm sensitive information (such as a
credit card number). Do not respond. Responding might also
subject you to more unwanted and unsolicited scam texts.
Monitor your accounts
Proactively monitoring your financial accounts (such as bank and
credit card statements) can help you catch errors and spot
potential fraud at the first sign. To simplify this process, use
a single credit card for all your online purchases. That way you
only have one statement to check instead of several.
Do not click links on social networking sites
To avoid infecting your computer or mobile device with malicious
software, never click on a link to a deal or special savings in
an unsolicited email. Scammers will often disguise a social
media post or email to make it seem as if it's coming from a
known retailer, but the link will take you to a fake site and
infect your device. If you see a link that supposedly leads to a
sale you want to take advantage of, visit the retailer's website
directly rather than clicking the link. From there you can
verify if the sale is legit.
Finally, if you do notice suspicious charges on your credit card
or transfers from your banking account, contact your card
company and bank right away to notify them. They will put a
freeze on the account, preventing further fraud.