Holiday Shopping Online – Safety Tips

Holiday shopping is upon us and is looking quite different this year. Some shops are still closed or have limited hours and many are only offering “deals” online. So, before you start making your way through your shopping list online, consider these six tips to help keep your personal information safe this season.

1. Be cautious about what websites you are going to be shopping on, there are several that have deals that appear to be “too good to be true” and they most likely are. Try to avoid any websites that you are unsure about, read the reviews on shops and products you are interested in, or stick to the stores and websites you are familiar with.

2. Think before you click – Throughout the holiday season, we all get ads all over social media for “Sale of the century!”, “Don’t miss this!”, etc. When you see a product or sale on an ad, instead of clicking the link, visit the company website to determine if the ad was legitimate.

3. Once you have your cart full, consider what payment options are the most secure. Using a credit card when shopping online is one of the most secure ways to pay because credit cards often offer better protection.

4. Be careful of what information you share when shopping online. If the shop is asking of more information than you are comfortable with sharing, do not feel like you have to follow through with the purchase. You should only fill out the required fields when at checkout.

5. Keep an eye on your account activity – you can do this by downloading the WCU Credit Union App or through online banking. You will better spot unauthorized purchases or unexpected activity by doing so. If there is a transaction that is not right, report it to the financial institution immediately and cancel the card.

6. Ship to a secure location – As online shopping has grown so have the “porch pirates” that are stealing packages from porches. If no one will be home to get your package, you may want to consider other options to ensure you will receive the product you purchased.

These are great tips to remember not only during holiday shopping but any time you plan to shop online. Shopping online is convenient and easy if you are cautious!