Holiday shopping season is in full swing. Stores have made way for Christmas trees and holiday music and every new trendy gadget and toy they hope will be the hot seller this year. Hopefully you are more diligent than I am about shopping and have some of your gift purchases completed early to avoid the rush. But maybe you are like me and are waiting for those Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. While those deals can be good, there are still some holiday shopping landmines out there. In 2021 the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center found that credit card fraud accounted for $173 million in losses for consumers, up from $130 million in 2020 and $111 million in 2019.
So, to keep your hands full of packages instead of fraud, consider these five tips to help protect you and your finances this holiday season.
- Set Alerts on your Accounts:
- Stay aware of purchases you make, so you can act quickly in the event of potential fraud.
- Sharonview members can log in to Online Banking and go to Settings Alerts & Notifications. There you can add alerts for withdrawals exceeding a certain dollar amount
- Use Your Debit Card as Credit:
- You are afforded a higher level of protection in the event of fraud using a debit card as credit over using it as debit with your PIN. Better yet, use your credit card if you can!
- Shop on Secure Websites:
- Pay attention to the URLs. Make sure they begin with “https” instead of “http” and that your browser isn’t warning you of certificate issues.
- Be wary of links sent to you in emails with deals that seem to be too good to be true. It could be a phishing email with the intent to steal you information.
- Use Unique Logins:
- We talked about username and password security a lot during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and this is a great example why. You may create an account to get a discount from that mom-and-pop website, but don’t use the same username/password as your Amazon account. You don’t want credentials for multiple websites being compromised because one business didn’t secure their website properly.
- Don’t use Free Wi-Fi in Public Places When Shopping Online:
- It is certainly tempting to use free Wi-Fi, but I would be wary. A lot of malicious actors will monitor unencrypted free Wi-Fi or setup fake Wi-Fi networks with the intent to harvest data off it once you connect.
Paired with the tips from last month’s Cybersecurity Awareness series, you should have all you need to beat the holiday rush and get gifts for your loved ones (or yourself!) securely. I hope these tips can help you to be safer, more confident shoppers, and I wish you and your family have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
About Sharonview Federal Credit Union
Sharonview Federal Credit Union, voted in 2018 the No.1 credit union in South Carolina by Forbes, is headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and has been serving its members since 1955. Today, Sharonview serves over 100,000 members nationwide, has assets totaling more than $1.7 billion and operates 19 branches in North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey. It is also ranked as one of the top 200 credit unions in the country, proving its dedication to providing its members with a full array of value-added financial services, all of which are backed by the United States government and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Sharonview currently stands above the crowd in delivering the personal touch, providing loans with fewer restrictions, flexible terms and lower rates. For over 60 years, Sharonview has promised exceptional value and delivered financial services members can trust, with us it’s personal.
Questions from the Media
Journalists, please note Sharonview Federal Credit Union's public relations agency of record is By George Communications, LLC.
The following contact information is for members of the media only. Other inquiries will not be returned or forwarded.
Marketing and Advertising Opportunities and Questions
Have advertising inquires, proposals and opportunities? Please contact us.