Keeping Your Credit Secure During The Holidays
The holidays are a big time for online shopping and using your credit cards. This means that it’s also a big time for credit and identity theft. What can you do to keep your information secure?
The last thing anyone needs during the holidays is dealing with identity theft. Unfortunately this time of year is big business for scammers and hackers. So what can you do to keep yourself and your financial information safe?
Stick To Familiar Websites
Looking for a great deal is a holiday tradition. Every day your inbox will be full of exclusive offers but you have to be careful when deciding to pursue some of them. It is always wise to stick to using websites that you are already familiar with - larger names with clear reputations are best. Many phishing scams can be disguised as coupon sites or sketchy online sellers. Once you click those links or input your information you are vulnerable to all kinds of scams and hacks.
This also goes for those ads you see on social media and Facebook. If it is an unfamiliar retailer or something feels off don’t input any of your information, no deal is worth the stress of identity theft.
Be Careful Clicking Email Deals
If you get an email from Amazon touting an exclusive deal and it feels off be sure to check the email address it’s coming from before clicking any links in the message - it should be coming directly from the amazon.com site, anything else might be a scam. That goes for all online retailer as well as personal contacts. Phishing scams through email are incredibly common and can come from anywhere. You may get an email saying your account on a website needs to be updated but when you click through and input your information you are handing over everything a hacker needs.
A good rule of thumb is to get used to checking the email addresses on emails that don’t feel right or ask for personal information. If it’s legitimate it will come from the retailer or website’s main site.
Be Wary Of Third Party Gift Cards
Gift cards are always a great gift during the holidays and scammers know that. When purchasing a gift card be sure you are doing business with a reputable seller. Big discounts on gift cards for popular stores are rarely legitimate so before you put your credit card information into a new website do a little research to figure out if it is legitimate. Your credit card company would cover your purchase if it was indeed a scam but they can’t entirely protect you from hackers who now have all of your information.
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