Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

The Holiday Shopping Season Is a Busy Time Of Year For Thieves! Consider these holiday shopping safety tips.

Holiday shopping can be a fun and fulfilling time but it can also mean a busy time of year for thieves. This holiday shopping season consider some of these simple holiday shopping safety tips to protect yourself against becoming a victim of crime.

CONTACT US immediately if you think your account has been compromised!

In-Person Shopping

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Clean out your wallet or purse and only carry the cards you need.
  • Know where your cards are at all time.
  • Put your purchases in the trunk, out of sight.
  • Keep an eye on your children.
  • Try not to shop alone.
  • If shopping in a new mall, plan your route before walking in so you don’t look lost.
  • Men should put their wallets in their front pockets to avoid pick pocketing.
  • If withdrawing cash at an ATM, check for evidence of tampering before you use it.

Online Shopping

  • Check for the secure lock on the web site you are shopping on – make sure that the site  uses encryption technology before giving your personal and card information.
  • Never open suspicious e-mails, attachments or click on links in them – attachments could contain a virus while hyperlinks could take you to a malicious site. Hover over links to see the actual address before clicking on them.
  • Ensure your computer have the most up-to date anti-virus software.
  • Avoid shopping on unsecured Wi-Fi networks – public Wi-Fi networks are not private and have extra risks. Your information is not protected. Don’t buy things online or log into your credit union account on public Wi-Fi.
  • Protect your smartphone – be sure to password protect it. Don’t download apps that might steal your personal information. Keep in mind that smartphones do not have data encryption like computers do.
  • Change your passwords – the holiday season and the new year are perfect times to change your passwords. Steer clear of common and simple words. Instead, use symbols, numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters. Use different passwords for different sites.

Regardless on how you shop be sure to examine your statements and monitor account activity via IT’S ME247 ONLINE BANKING periodically! The first way to spot identity theft is to see a suspicious charge on your credit card or account statement. If you see anything that raises a red flag, CONTACT US immediately.

For more resources take our interactive IDENTITY THEFT COACH from Anytime Adviser to learn about how to safeguard yourself against identity theft. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.