With the holidays approaching quickly, many of us will be shopping online. As online shopping volume increases – in fact, according to BigCommerce.com, 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, with Ecommerce growing 23% every year – it is important that all of us understand potential security risks and how to protect ourselves while making online purchases. Consider some of these tips to keep your money, and your account information, safe.
- Secure your computer. Make sure your computer has the latest security updates installed. Make sure your anti-virus software is working properly. A good sign it is working is if you are receiving automatic updates or update notifications.
- Secure your transactions. Looks for the lock icon on your browser’s status bar, and make sure the website indicates https in the address bar before entering account information and completing your purchase. The “s” stands for secure and indicates the page is encrypted.
- Make payments securely. Pay by credit card rather than debit card. Credit card transactions are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act and cardholders are typically only liable for the first $50 in unauthorized charges. Though if a criminal gets your debit card information, they have the potential to wipe out your bank account.
- Select merchants carefully. Limit your online shopping to merchants that are reputable and that you know. If you have questions about a merchant, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.
- Keep a record. Keep track of your online purchases, as well as the product description and price, online receipt, and any emails you send or receive from the seller. Always make sure to review your credit card or bank statements for unauthorized purchases.
- Use your Sandia Area Mastercard. When shopping for the holidays, be sure to use your Sandia Area Mastercard to enjoy Price Protection, Zero Liability and ID Theft Resolutions Services. Click here to learn more.
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