Nov 20, 2017
Holiday Shopping Security
The holidays are in full swing:the lights are going up, tinsel can be found in nooks and crannies, and yummy treats are everywhere. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure you are safe shopping (in stores and online) so you can outsmart any Grinches out there and keep your holidays "both joyful and triumphant".
When shopping in stores:
- Empty your purse/wallet of everything you are not going to be using that day (extra credit cards, social security/medicare cards, etc.).
- Lock purchases in the trunk where they are out of sight so would-be burglars aren’t tempted to break in and do a little Christmas shopping in your car.
- When supporting local merchants be aware that they may not have the financial power to have top of the line cyber security and consider paying with cash for those purchases.
- If possible, leave your checks at home.
- It only takes seconds for someone to snatch your purse: keep it on you at all times.
- Be wary of giving out your personal information for extra discounts on new credit card accounts.
For online purchases:
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card.
- Ensure the website has either a padlock or https:// in the web address so you know the site is secure.
- Don’t use public wi-fi for purchases or to access any financial websites.
- Both Amazon and Netfix have had their emails copied for cyber-attacks. Customers of both companies received emails asking for verification information in order to deliver a package or to continue their account. If you receive an email from a company that asks you to click a link, you can hover over the link to see what website it’s taking you to. Be aware that fraudsters are tricky and will slightly change the web address (for example amazon.com may become amizon.com), so going straight to the company's website rather than clicking a link in any email is the safest way to go.
- Never use personal information for passwords. Consider using the first letter of each word in a sentence, replacing words like to or for with "2" or "4". Don’t start your password with a capital letter. For example: I love to drive around and look at all the Christmas lights becomes il2daalaatCl
Thank you for your continued business and friendship! Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and a happy and prosperous New Year!
Julie Bentley, Realtor, SRES at Bridgeway Realty