The holiday season is quickly approaching, which likely means you will be doing some online shopping. While making purchases online has become simple and quick, there are still some risks to consider. Keep reading for five tips to keep in mind as you shop this year for you and yours!
Use Credit, Not Debit
Using your Summit credit card rather than a debit card helps protect you from any fraud happening with your card. It’s also good practice to implement a daily spending limit on your card to avoid any (rare) case of fraud that might occur. Better to be safe than sorry, you know?
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Using the public Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop or library may be convenient, but it is not the safest way to shop online, especially during the holiday season when potential hackers may be on the prowl even more. Hackers can gain access to public Wi-Fi and acquire user details, including your payment information. Instead, use your 4G mobile service or wait until you can connect to a private, secure Wi-Fi network.
Look for Signs of Security
Before completing an online purchase, check to the left of the website URL. If there is a padlock icon, your data is encrypted, keeping it private and protected. In addition, the web address should begin with “https://” — the “s” stands for “secure,” indicating the encryption of your personal information. Hooray for details!
Buy from Trusted Companies
Shopping from trusted brands and companies not only gives you confidence in the products you buy, but also suggests that they will have robust security measures in place. If you’re considering making a purchase from a brand you aren’t familiar with, do some research first. How long have they been in business? Do they have a history of positive customer reviews and ratings? Asking these questions first can save you money (and a major headache) if the business turns out to be illegitimate.
Double-check Your Statements
As always, check (and re-check) your credit card statements to ensure that there are no unexpected charges. If you find charges that you cannot explain, contact your Summit branch immediately to resolve the issue.
The holiday season is a time for giving (and shopping), so be sure to follow these tips to make safe online purchases. Keep coming back to our Money Smarts blog for more financial tips and money wellness!