Don’t fall victim to ID theft during the online holiday shopping season
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There is one less shopping week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, consumers may be even more focused on holiday deals to secure gifts in time for family and friends.
More than 40 percent of consumers who had their identity stolen say it happened while shopping online during the holidays, according to Experian.
Suzanne Schlundt, Vice President of Marketing at Cox Communications, was in studio to share some tips to make sure you shop smart online during the holiday rush.
• Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Some internet providers offer customers security software for computers, tablets, and smartphones free with their internet service.
• Use different passwords for different sites. If a hacker gains access to your username and password combinations, they could get into your various accounts.
• Use secure websites. Reputable websites from well-known brands and companies will be the most secure. They will show “HTTPS:” in the browser bar. Once you complete the transaction, be sure to log out of the website.
• Don’t rely on search engines to find deals. Scammers publish deceptive links that can trick you into thinking they are legitimate. If you want a certain toy or tech gift, go directly to a reputable website, then begin your search.
• Beware of malicious links. Hover over a link before you click on it to see the full web address or use a link scanner website to safely enter and check a web link.
• Shopping mobile? It is best to use a retailer’s mobile app when shopping from a mobile device. If you use a mobile browser, there is an increased chance you cannot see the actual URL on the page where you are inputting personal information to complete your transaction.
• Keep transactions on file. Save your purchase confirmations as a physical print out or on your computer drive. This will help with returns or exchanges and to dispute fraudulent transactions, should they occur.
• Monitor credit and debit accounts more frequently. Keep a close eye on your statements to ensure the transactions are correct for the sites that you purchase from. Better yet, don’t use debit cards online, since there’s less fraud protection.