Safety Tips for Holiday Online Shopping
With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s tempting to shop online to avoid the crowds and search for better cyber deals. However, online shopping can be risky if not exercised with caution. To avoid the risk of identity theft and compromised purchasing cards associated with online shopping, it’s important to follow these tips to shop safely online.
- Maintain active anti-theft protection software such as firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus.
- Keep all software up-to-date, especially browsers and operating systems.
- Only make purchases from reputable retailers. Fraudster sites can appear legitimate, so stick to shopping on established and trustworthy sites.
- Ensure a site is secure and that your information would be encrypted before making a purchase. A URL that begins with “https:” instead of “http:” indicates a secure site. A closed padlock icon is also an indicator of secure sites, but be wary of padlock icons that look fake or out of place.
- Use your CapitalMark credit card instead of debit card for online purchases. Legal protection exists to limit your liability if your credit card is compromised and fraudulent charges ensue. Your debit card may have a different liability policy. Additionally, debit cards draw funds directly from your bank account. Using a single credit card with a low limit can minimize potential damage.
- Be wary of emails asking for sensitive information. Unsolicited emails are often phishing schemes (attempts to gather your personal information), and may appear related to a recent purchase. Malicious malware can be disguised as attachments or hyperlinks, so always avoid clicking these if possible.
- Check your transaction history and bank statements for any fraudulent charges. Your card may have been compromised without your knowledge. If you notice any discrepancies, report to us immediately.
For other online safety tips, visit CapitalMark’s Fraud Education page. Safe and happy shopping!
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security “Shopping Safely Online”