Be safe and remember the following tips during this holiday shopping season!
Beware of Scams and Cybercriminals (Protect Your Electronic Devices):
Anything connected to the Internet, including smartphones and tablets need to be protected. Scammers and cybercriminals love to target online shoppers during this time. Be on alert for emails that might get you to act quickly by clicking through links and open attachments. Be wary of any emails about problems with your credit cards, an account or the status of an online order. Exercise caution when seeing an offer where the discount is way below normal.
Holiday Shopping Tips (Online and In Store):
Holiday Shopping On the Go (Social Media and Public Wi-Fi):
- Conduct research: When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
- Personal information is like money, value and protect it: When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
- Use safe payment options: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, posts and texts are often the ways cybercriminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.
- Debit/Credit Access: If using your debit card to make purchases, make sure to use one hand to conceal your pin entry. If your card has the security chip installed, use that method for payment instead by swiping the card.
- Protect your $$: When shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. To make sure you're on a secure page, check to see that the URL for the page begins with "https://" and not "http://." That "s" lets you know the site is secure, indicating extra measures to help protect your information. Most browsers will also show a lock icon in the lower right corner of the browser window to let you know you're on a secure site.
Basic Safety and Security Tips (Malware and Passwords):
- Social Media: Be cautious about posting on social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google +, about where you are and what you are buying. Cyber-criminals may be trolling these sits to see if people are out shopping and not home. Remember, criminals are always looking for easy targets.
- Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections, including logging on to important accounts, such as email and banking. Adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone by using a lock screen. Make sure to not use the stores Wi-Fi you’re in as it may be compromised and not safe. Disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use, especially when you’re in a store is a way to make sure your phone is not compromised. A good rule of thumb is to stick to using your cellular network.
- Keep a clean machine: Keep all web-connected devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, free from malware and infections by running the most current versions of software and apps. Run a virus and malware scan before you begin you’re online shopping to make sure your machine is clean from harmful software.
- Make your passwords more secure: If your passwords are weak, improve them by adding capital letters, numbers and symbols and using different passwords for your accounts.
Happy Holidays from Marquette Bank!