Online holiday shopping has become a popular way to buy gifts while conveniently avoiding the long lines and crowds at the malls.
With many consumers taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, the possibility of identity theft increases. That’s because it becomes easier for these fraudulent activities to slip by shoppers who are too busy making numerous transactions.
Each year, thousands of U.S. residents are victimized by some form of credit card or identity theft. Here are some tips from cyber-security experts on ways to protect yourself:
Monitor your bank account and credit card statements regularly
Report suspicious transactions immediately and have your bank or financial institution put a hold on your account until the issue is rectified.
Use a credit card for online purchases
When shopping online, it’s safer to use credit cards over debit cards when making purchases. That’s because credit card companies will reimburse card holders on fraudulent purchases or transactions. Cash savings illegally tapped by identity thefts through debit card data are harder to recoup.
Vary your passwords for different online accounts
Avoid using the same password for all your accounts. When withdrawing money at an ATM or using your debit card to make a purchase, make sure your PIN code isn’t visible to others who are nearby.