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10 Safe Shopping Tips for Cyber Monday

During your online shopping on Cyber Monday, you will likely land on one or more online retail shopping sites.  Here are some tips for shopping safely online.

  1. Monitor your bank accounts frequently:  Turn on notifications to be alerted when purchases are made. Many banking apps allow users to set mobile notifications for all account activity.
  2. Type the URL into the address bar. Instead of just clicking a link to take you to your chosen retailer’s website, it’s safer to type the retailer’s URL into the address bar on your web browser. It may take a little more effort, but this simple action can help to prevent you from visiting a fake or malicious website.
  3. Get email savvy – Be aware of the emails coming in and going out of your inbox, especially opening any attachments. Be sure to verify that the email is coming from a trusted source before clicking or applying for any item.
  4. Use a credit card rather than a debit card – Fraudulent charges are no fun whether it’s a charge to your credit card or debit card. Know that complications may be more severe for a debit card because it is usually linked directly to your checking account.
  5. Practice “good password hygiene” – Be mindful to create new passwords rather than simply reusing passwords. Use a strong password of 8 characters or more, the longer, the better.
  6. Beware of phantom sites – If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is! Comparison shopping is great for finding the best deals, but stick to sites you are familiar with. And trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable buying or bidding on an item over the web, or if you feel pressured to place your order immediately, maybe you shouldn’t.
  7. Keep your browser up to date – Not only is keeping your browser up to date effective for shopping purposes, but the older your browser is, the weaker it is when defending against viruses and malware.
  8. Make sure the Internet connection is secure. Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.  Before you give your payment information, check for indicators that security software is in place.
  9. Don’t shop on public WiFi: Hackers can gain access to personal, confidential information, including bank account information. Don’t let yourself fall victim by giving them access to your personal information. Always use a secure network.
  10. Set up two-step authentication: This second layer of security is a great way to ensure that you are the only person who signs into your account.

For more tips on how to shop safely, click here.

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