Safe Shopping This Holiday

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes a spike in online shopping. More and more people are choosing to escape the crowds at brick and mortar stores in favor of shopping from the comfort of their couch. If you’re gearing up for cyber shopping this holiday, keep these tips in mind to make sure it all goes smoothly.
Before you jump into the holiday rush, take a little time to secure your setup. Update your anti-virus and anti-malware, as well as your security patches. If you plan to use digital wallets or shopping apps, put a password on your phone. Also, make sure any account alert features your credit card offers are active.
Using a debit card can be as risky as it is convenient. If a thief gets your debit card information, they can drain your bank account very quickly. Credit cards are less vulnerable, since most cards won’t hold you liable for any fraudulent charges and there’s no actual money involved. For even more security, use PayPal. You can either route your credit card payment through PayPal or use your PayPal balance so none of your bank information even gets to the site you’re purchasing from. This can also be useful if you’re trying to stick to a budget this holiday – put all your shopping money into PayPal, and only use that.
Take all the usual precautions for online shopping. Never use public wi-fi networks, make sure the site is secure as indicated by “https” at the beginning of the address, and stick to reputable sites. Also, remember that if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is; either it’s a scam or it’s a knockoff of what you intended to buy.
Keep an eye on your bank and credit card accounts so you can catch any fraud and deal with it quickly. Monitor your account alerts and check your statements weekly all the way through January.
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