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Online Shopping Tips

Like most of us, you’re probably doing a lot of your holiday shopping online. This is a convenient way to buy gifts, especially during the pandemic, but it can open you up to identity theft. While it can be a challenge to guarantee you won’t become a victim, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.

  • Use trusted websites – Pay attention to the URL you are shopping at. Sometimes when you click on an ad you think is for a reliable company, you might be redirected to less-than-reputable website. Make sure you purchasing directly from the source.
  • Look for HTTPS – When you see the “s” at the end of “http” in the URL, then you know the site is encrypted and your data will be secure.
  • Use a credit card – Credit cards offer a level of fraud protection and credit card providers will likely notice fraudulent activity before you do. You can sign up for an ERFCU credit card here.
  • Don’t store payment – It might save you time, but storing your card information on a retailer’s site can be risky. Your card could be compromised if there is a data breach. Plus, not storing your card can help you not impulse buy!
  • Set complex password – Avoid readily available information like your mother’s maiden name, your birthday date, a single word or the last four digits of your social security number. Utilize combinations of letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Monitor your statements – Early detection can make a big difference, so be sure to monitor your accounts. You can easily do this through online banking or mobile apps. Also, utilize e-statements which is more secure than having your statements come via mail.

Taking these steps can help mitigate the risk of becoming a victim to identity theft and keep your holiday a season a happy one!

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