Online Shopping Tips to Protect Your Money and Identity This Holiday Season
published on 12/14/2012
It’s official. The holiday shopping season has begun and online shopping is expected to reach record sales. RCB Bank reminds consumers to be careful of internet fraud when shopping online.
With the convenience of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, Cyber Monday sales reached record highs this year. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, consumers spent $1.46 billion online, according to market research organization comScore, Inc., and online sales are expected to break $43 billion this holiday season.
“This is the season fraudsters love,” says RCB Bank’s Information Security Officer Gordon Rudd.
RCB Bank encourages online shoppers to practice safe shopping and pay careful attention to what they are doing online.
Gordon Rudd and RCB Bank’s AVP of Fraud Denise Meyer offer these online shopping safety tips.
- Only shop on sites that begin with https, the “s” being important. It means the site is secure, with an added layer of encryption and authentication to help protect against hackers.
- Consider using gift cards to make online purchases rather than your credit card or debit card.
- Maintain current virus protection software and complete regular scans of your computer.
- Avoid using a digital wallet or e-wallet service that remembers your credit card information. We highly recommend that you do not store your credit card or debit card information online.
- Make sure the VeriSign symbol is displayed where you key in your account information at checkout. (picture of symbol)
- Be very cautious of emails and texts claiming to be from merchants even if you recently purchased from them. Fraudsters are professionals and design very convincing documents. Log in to the merchant’s official site to read communications regarding your purchases. Do not accept texts from merchants (opt out).
- Track packages from official sites like UPS.com or FedEx.com. Do not click on messages sent via email or text. Clicking on links can put your money and your identity in danger.
- Monitor your bank accounts (and credit card accounts) regularly and report any unauthorized purchased immediately to your bank.
Gordon Rudd is happy to answer questions about internet security and can be reached at 855-BANK-RCB. RCB Bank’s fraud department is also available Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The fraud hotline is 1-877-361-0814.
Here are additional resources to learn more:
The Federal Trade Commission offers more tips and advice about being safe, secure and responsible online provided by OnGuardOnline.gov, including current online scams.
The FDIC offers a YouTube video on “Don’t be an Online Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams.”
The Federal Reserve offers numerous articles on Identity Theft, Frauds and Scams.