by Elvis Huff, Director of Security, Wilson Bank & Trust
Are you stressed, tired and busy? You are not alone. Everyone is busy this time of year, and the last thing you need is the added stress of fraud this Christmas season.
If you’re looking to simplify your holiday gift search by shopping online, here are a few simple tips to protect yourself from online fraud.
Know the Retailer.
The easiest way to protect yourself is to know the retailer. Avoid online shops that offer the latest products at very steep discounts with little or no history. Newly established online shops may be out to sell you an unauthentic product or take your money and never ship the item.
Guard your Information.
Be very careful with your personal information. Always be conscious of what information you are asked to provide. Consider checking out as a guest to avoid providing more information than necessary.
Never email or text an online shop your card number directly. Use an online shopping cart platform to handle all of the card processing. It protects you and the merchant. If the online shop says they do not have a shopping cart or third-party payment processor, look elsewhere.
Avoid public Wi-Fi.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi to do any online shopping. It may be free and accessible, but it is also accessible to online criminals who can get your personal information.
Look for the Lock.
When entering personal information on any site, make sure there is a lock visible in the web address bar. This ensures that any information sent from your device to the website is encrypted.