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Love to holiday shop online but worried about ID theft? Protect yourself with these five tips.

Summit Credit Union Red SHOES

Who doesn’t love a holiday bargain? Especially a bargain that doesn’t involve dealing with crazy parking lots and crowded stores.

But have this year’s cyber hacks left you feeling a little vulnerable about online shopping? You’re right to have cyber fraud on your radar. According to a study that came out last February, there was a 40% jump last year in fraud1 that occurred when there was no physical credit card involved, which means the fraud happened online or using a mobile phone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t online shop, it just means you need to be careful.

You’re a smart shopper! Protect yourself with these five tips.

Tip 1. Use your Summit Visa credit or debit card. You can use your Summit card anywhere Visa is accepted. When you use your Summit card, you’re covered by 24/7 fraud monitoring and Zero Liability protection,2 which protects you from unauthorized and fraudulent changes.

Tip 2. Only buy from reputable sites. How do you know if you’re on a real site? Those fraudsters have gotten very good and it can be really hard to tell. Do the discounts seem too good to be true? Or does their refund policy seem way too complicated? These are just a couple of things to keep in mind when shopping online. If you’re unsure, check the URL in Google and read up on reviews to see if you’re at risk.

Tip 3. Protect your phone. The experts recommend you treat your phone like the mini computer it is. You wouldn’t leave your laptop without password protection or software updates, right? So take the time to do the same with your phone. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you’re keeping your financial information private. If nothing else, add some sort of security lock. It only takes a few minutes and could save you a lot of hassle and heartbreak if your phone was stolen.

Tip 4. Use social media wisely. Think only your mom and best friends are getting your cute baby pictures and vacay updates? Fraudsters might be too. A few things to keep in mind include changing your password on a regular basis, disabling your location settings and always keeping your privacy settings up to date.

Tip 5.  Set up account alerts. We’ve all been there: looking at our account statement and thinking, “Hmm…did I really spend $7.38 at the coffee shop or did my account get hacked?” Here’s something that can help: account alerts. Monitor expenses and get transaction alerts all within Money Minder. You can set alerts to notify you when your account balance falls below a certain dollar amount, when a large transaction has been made, and more. Alerts a quick and an easy way to know when something’s been charged to your account and let you act fast if you didn’t make the charge. And be sure to alert Summit immediately if you spot a fake.

Smarter online holiday shopping? You’re owning this!

1 https://www.javelinstrategy.com/press-release/identity-fraud-hits-record-high-154-million-us-victims-2016-16-percent-according-new

2 Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions or any transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify Summit immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, call 800-236-5560.