Shopping online has become an essential way of life. You can literally buy anything online – from groceries to medicine to last-minute birthday gifts. And although shipping times have slowed down during the current COVID-19 environment, you may still receive your purchased items delivered the next day (or even the same day) if you want. But with all this convenience, sometimes we forget to take the precautions necessary to protect our personal financial information from hackers and other fraudsters.
As a way to protect your money and your identity, consider these nine security measures while shopping online:
- Shop on secure sites – check the URL to be sure it has a closed-lock icon or beings with “https” before you buy anything on a website.
- Avoid using the same password on all your online accounts – that way, if someone does get ahold of your password, it cannot compromise all your accounts.
- Be creative with your passwords – avoid using your email address, birth date, child’s name, or anything else familiar for your passwords.
- Share only the information required to make your online purchase – provide any information that has an asterisk on it.
- Don’t save your account information on different websites – while it may be more convenient to use when you’re making a purchase, it’s just not as secure to do so.
- Pay with a digital wallet or another payment service (such as PayPal) when possible –your financial information is protected with a unique digital number so no one can obtain it.
- Monitor your accounts regularly using online and mobile banking – if you notice an unauthorized charge from your debit or credit card, contact us immediately at 831-425-7708. You should also take a few moments to set up account alerts to help you stay on top of your accounts.
- Never shop online over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks – if you have to perform a financial transaction, use your mobile data.
- Buy only from online companies in which you are familiar – buying from unfamiliar companies may lead to fraudulent activity.
By adding these simple security measures to your routine, you can feel more confident that your personal financial information will remain safe while you’re shopping online.