Be Careful Where You BuyCarefully check out the websites you buy from. Stick with trusted retailers, and make sure the site you are looking at is that retailer’s site and not an imposter. A good rule of thumb is to look out for the padlock icon at the beginning of the web URL to ensure the site you are on is a secure one. Clicking on the padlock will get you more information, like when the security certificate for the site was issued and by whom. Be careful of store sites that forward you to another domain, especially if that domain is in another country. Never change your country or region in your mobile device or computer’s settings just to gain access to a special deal internationally. True retail sites will never make you falsify your information and any site or app that does is fake and should be avoided.
Don’t Shop Online in PublicIf you’re in a public place and connected to Wi-Fi, you’re potentially not secure. Anyone else on the same public Wi-Fi network might be able to connect to your device and intercept your information. If you must shop away from your own trusted Wi-Fi network, then turn off your Wi-Fi and try using your mobile device’s cellular connection instead. Similarly, if you’re online shopping on your laptop or tablet in public, use your phone to create a personal mobile hotspot rather than using a public network. Besides Wi-Fi connections, your physical environment should be free of crowds to avoid the risk of people looking over your shoulder to see your card information.
Be Financially SecureIt’s vital to protect your accounts and passwords and keep your devices secure, but it’s important to also think about your overall financial security. Shopping safely means taking steps to ensure your finances can handle your holiday shopping spree. Learn to budget and not spend without a plan. Finally, use security monitoring. Most credit card companies have built-in fraud protection and purchase monitoring to protect you. Use the card with the most robust security features for any online purchases.
Stay financially safe and protected this holiday season.