Each year, more and more holiday shoppers are opting to do the majority of their buying online. Keep your personal and financial information from falling into the wrong hands with these tips for safe online browsing and buying:
- Only make purchases on secure websites. Check the address bar of your internet browser for a padlock icon or make sure that the URL begins with “https” to verify that the site is secure.
- Don’t make purchases on public unsecured WiFi networks (ones that don’t require a password). Doing so can make your financial and personal information vulnerable to being stolen by hackers.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card to make purchases online. Credit cards often come with added fraud protection, and are not linked to the funds in your bank account. Check your statements regularly for transactions you don’t recognize, and report any suspicious activity to your credit card company immediately. Consider using one credit card for all your holiday purchases to make it easier to monitor your transactions and track your spending.
- Keep your devices up-to-date. Make sure that you are running the latest versions of security software, operating systems, browsers, programs, and apps on all of the computers, laptops, tablets, or phones that you use to make purchases. Check regularly for software updates, security fixes, and patches that are available to download and install.
- Save records of all your online transactions, including the order number, date, product description, and payment confirmation. If you aren’t able to print a confirmation of your transaction, try taking a screenshot as a proof of purchase or confirm that the details were sent to you via email. Good records will help you and your financial institution spot which charges are fraudulent in the event you are hacked.
All of us at Bill2Pay wish you a safe, hacker-free holiday!