Most of us are spending more and more time online these days. And I do mean “spending” as online sales saw large gains of 18.1 percent, when comparing holiday shopping from 2016 to 2017.
As we shop for everything from unique wedding gifts to play and concert tickets or even just sending money online to family and friends, it seems timely to offer basic tips for protecting payments when buying from unknown sources:
- Pay with a Credit or Debit Card for Zero Liability Fraud Protection: Peace of mind comes from knowing that you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized or compromised purchases, whether online, over-the-phone or in stores.
- Stranger, (Online) Danger: Just because someone professes to share your love of team, music or theater when buying tickets online, don’t assume he or she is a trusted source. Insist on using a secure payment channel when the seller is not known to you.
- Use a Digital Wallet: Digital wallets offer the same protection as credit and debit cards. Account information is not shared while making purchases. Random, unique numbers or codes are created and exchanged for each purchase keeping sensitive data protected both in-transit and at its final destination.
- Read Reviews: Many online marketplaces allow buyers to leave reviews on their experiences with sellers. Reviews could tip you off if a seller has had a series of complaints in the past.
- Sign up for Identity Theft Alerts: Many banks provide controls and alerts. If your bank does not or if you want additional security, Mastercard helps keep personal information safe. This benefit comes at no extra cost and helps detect and resolve identity theft with expert assistance 24/7 and emergency wallet replacement. You can also register for ID Theft Alerts™ which text or email if personal or sensitive data is being bought or sold online.
- Check Your Credit Score Regularly: Checking your credit score is often the only way to know if your identity or social security number have been compromised. Spot and correct problems early.
There are lots of other ways to keep safe. Click here for a reminder on the security provided by EMV Chip Cards.