Stay Protected From Online Fraud This Holiday Season


It’s that special time of year when we search high and low for the perfect gifts for our loved ones. Many people have decided to avoid long lines at the retailer and are choosing to shop online for all their holiday gifts. According to statista.com, a website that measures statistical data from thousands of sources across the web, more than 200 million online shoppers in the United States will browse products, compare prices and purchase merchandise online in 2015.

more than 200 million online shoppers in the United States will browse products, compare prices and purchase merchandise online in 2015. As online shopping increases, so do your chances of falling victim to identity theft or online fraud.As online shopping increases, so do your chances of falling victim to identity theft or online fraud. Online fraud can not only ruin your holiday, but can cause substantial financial damages to you and your loved ones. You don’t have to be a casualty to fraud this holiday season. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you stay protected from online fraud this holiday season.

Create Strong Passwords/Passphrases

Strong passwords are the first line of defense to prevent scammers from getting a hold of your sensitive information. Nowadays, most accounts require you to use some combination of a capital letter, number or symbol for your password. This isn’t to cause you a headache trying to remember what you chose – it’s for your protection. Passphrases are becoming increasing popular, which are short sentences that combine letters, numbers and symbols to form a short sentence. An example of a password phrase is something like “Gr8PasSPhrase!” Don’t be afraid to get creative – it can help stop fraud before it begins.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has become an amenity that many take for granted. Dozens of businesses advertise that they offer free Wi-Fi just to get their customers in the door. But if you use public Wi-Fi to shop for goods or login to your bank account, you could be at risk. Public Wi-Fi networks provide hackers with the opportunity to access your account information as those networks are less secure than traditional networks. It’s best to wait until you are at home where you can use your secure, password-protected network. Keeping your identity safe is more important than ordering a gift at your local coffee shop.

Only Shop at Reputable Retailers

more than 200 million online shoppers in the United States will browse products, compare prices and purchase merchandise online in 2015. As online shopping increases, so do your chances of falling victim to identity theft or online fraud.Almost everyone is looking for the best deal over the holidays. Paying less for an item or finding an online coupon is one of the joys of online shopping. What you want to avoid is falling for discount websites that may not be credible. Heed caution when searching for deals on websites such as Craigslist. It’s best to stick to a more traditional approach to online shopping.

Don’t Get Caught Phishing

Don’t take the bait! Phishing is a tactic used by scammers to trick users into giving out sensitive information. These scams often show up as emails disguised as a store or other trusted company. When the user clicks the link, it may prompt them to enter social security number and other sensitive information that will then be stolen. Banks and other reputable companies will never ask for personal information without using a secure website, so if you are having any doubt, call the company before sharing any information.


Always Use a Credit Card When Shopping Online

When shopping online, it’s best to use a credit card. Thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act, you are less liable for unauthorized credit card charges and are better protected than using your debit card. Also, with programs like Verified by Visa, which all of Colonial Visa cards are equipped, paying online using a credit card protects the cardholder from fraud before it has a chance to start. To learn more about getting a personal credit card from Colonial, please visit https://www.colonialsavings.com/ and you can then shop online with confidence.

 

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