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Tips on Shopping Safe During the Holidays

Here we are again at another Holiday season. That means people are in the mood to spend money. Even as the pandemic has started to slow down, consumers show no signs of abandoning their online shopping habits. People are still enjoying the convenience of buying on-sale items from their couch. Avoiding large crowds seems to be a plus side nowadays. Especially for the holidays.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of inventory issues and shipping continues to be hit or miss. This has caused an increase in bad actors spoofing websites, promoting fake deals for inventory they don’t have and ramping up the phishing attacks. That is why it’s extremely important this year to buy from sites you know and watch your bank account. Stay safe this holiday with some of the tips below!

 

  1. Use a credit card when possible – Instead of using your debit card, opt to put purchases on your credit card when possible. Credit cards offer more protection and less is at stake if the card becomes compromised. If your debit card is compromised, the bad actors have direct access to your full bank account, unlike a credit card.
  2. Continue to monitor your credit and debit cards every day – Even if you’re careful with what you buy and where you buy it from, sometimes bad actors do get ahold of your payment information. The best thing to do during the holidays is to check your accounts on a regular basis for any suspicious activity. That way you can report it immediately.
  3. Make sure the website is secure – If you’re about to enter your credit card information into a website, it’s important that the site is legitimate and secure. Check to make sure there’s a lock symbol in the URL bar or check to see that the website says HTTPS.
  4. Create strong passwords – If the website asks you create an account to make a purchase, as tempting as it is, don’t use 1234567 or your name as the password. Make sure you continue to create strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess, even if it’s a one-time purchase.
  5. Beware of too good to be true deals – These have the potential to be phishing attempts. During the holidays, you’ll see a large increase in phishing attempts trying to lure you in to buy items that are on super sale. The shortage of inventory has forced a lot of fake deals to pop up for items that aren’t available. Be extra cautious with this one.
  6. Avoid making purchases on public Wi-fi – You might see that special gift you need to purchase while you’re on your laptop at the local Starbucks. But you should remember that almost all public wi-fis are not secure. Especially during the holidays, it’s easy for a bad actor to make a Wi-Fi that looks familiar, but it’s really just an open connection to compromise your data and accounts.  
  7. Make sure your laptop has anti-virus and are up to date – Making sure that your mobile devices are up to date can really help protect you and your information. Updates and patches are released to help remediate a bug or flaw in the system. AV is inexpensive now and it’s really easy to install so people should always have this on their laptops or desktops.

 

Invicta Partners is here to support our community. If you have any questions about these tips or think your data may have been compromised, reach out to us at 423-664-8700 or info@invictamsp.com! Happy shopping!