Protect your info during holiday shopping season

The holiday season is officially upon us and you know what that means: online shopping. Many retailers are urging people to shop early to avoid supply chain issues, which has led to many early flash sales. However, scammers have already begun targeting people who are racing to get their holiday shopping done online. Here’s how you can protect yourself – and your wallet! 


If a sale looks too good to be true, it probably is

If you receive an email or text notification about a flash sale, but it looks a little iffy, don’t click any links. Scammers can set up fake sales or e-commerce sites to trick you into giving up your credit card info. You can always check the vendor’s website instead to verify if a sale is legitimate. 


Look for safer payment options

When paying for your purchases, use a credit card in lieu of debit when possible, since they offer more protection in the event your information is stolen. Even better, consider using third-party payment services (PayPal, Google Pay, etc.) so you don’t have to provide your credit card details at all. 


Check your bank account frequently

If you've been buying lots of stuff, your bank account may be looking more anemic than usual, but make sure it’s not because someone got a hold of your information! Ensure you’re accounting for every charge on your credit cards and in your bank statements. If something looks fishy, report it to your financial institution immediately. 


Keep your online accounts safe

Like any other time of the year, you should always ensure your password is strong and that your accounts are secure. Don’t forget that you can use tools like LastPass to create unique and hard-to-crack passwords, and Duo or multi-factor authentication settings to provide an extra layer of protection. 


For more ways on how you can protect yourself this shopping season, visit the National Cybersecurity Alliance. Have a safe and happy holiday! 

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