Holiday shopping means that you are probably using your credit and debit cards more than normal. With the recent increase of incidents involving credit card fraud, it is important to do your part to minimize the risk of becoming the next target.
Here are five safety tips that can help keep your credit card and debit card information safe this holiday season–and all year long:
- Shop on legitimate websites. Shopping online is easy and convenient, but make sure you are visiting the actual websites for reputable, legitimate businesses for your purchases. Scammers are good at creating legitimate-looking ads and emails designed to draw you into elaborate phishing schemes to make off with your credit or debit card information. Rather than clicking on links in emails or ads on webpages, the safest bet is to type the web address of the store you want directly into your browser bar, or use a search engine if you are not positive on the store’s web address.
- Make sure online shopping is secure. Before you enter your credit/debit card information into a site’s checkout process, look for “https://” in the website address bar. If the “s” is not there, your information may not be encrypted when transmitted. So, even if the site itself is legitimate, your card information may be vulnerable.
- Use online banking tools. Use your financial institution’s website to keep an eye on your balance and recent transactions, and notify them right away if you notice any unauthorized activity. Mercer Savings Bank’s customers can use online banking tools to monitor their card activity.
- Think twice about where you click “checkout”. Shopping online is easy, but if you are at a coffee shop, hotel or anywhere else on an unsecured WiFi connection, consider waiting to enter your credit/debit card information until you are back on a secure network again.
- Be careful in stores. If you are going to do shopping at the mall or at other retail stores, use some common-sense tips to keep your information secure, including keeping your card in a wallet or purse (not in your pocket where it could easily fall out), only carrying the card(s) you need on that shopping trip, and covering the card number with your hand when you give the card to the cashier to swipe so the number is not visible to others standing in line.
By taking these steps to safeguard your information, you can be more confident when shopping online, or in stores, for holiday purchases.
At Mercer Savings Bank, we have been helping people make smart banking decisions for more than 125 years. To learn more, contact us online today, or visit us in Celina, Ft. Recovery or Greenville.