There is just one week left in a holiday shopping season that started strong. Shoppers are decking the halls and seeking last minute deals. With more retailers offering overnight shipping, same-day pickup and great discounts, many expect Saturday December 23rd will likely be the biggest shopping day.
Merchants are pulling out all the stops, but so are cyber criminals. They know people are looking for a good deal and are trying to take advantage of unsuspecting online shoppers. By creating very real looking offers and emails, criminals trick people into sharing personal information and payment details.
To help shoppers stay safe in the final days of the holiday season, we have developed a “NICE” list – four simple steps to shop online more safely:
- Never click on unknown links. We tell kids not to take candy from a stranger, and need to follow that advice ourselves online. Even if an email or link looks legitimate, make sure you check before clicking.
- Insecure public WiFi should be used with caution. While public WiFi may be free, it doesn’t offer strong security protections. Before connecting, confirm it is a trusted network and only make purchases when connected to a more secure network so personal data isn’t seen by prying eyes.
- Check out digital wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Masterpass to pay online. This technology masks your card number for added security and simplifies the checkout process. And never ever email your card details.
- Enable two-factor authentication and sign up for alerts wherever possible. This extra layer of security will also give you a heads up if someone tries to gain access to your accounts.
Of course, sometimes bad things happen. While criminals are guaranteed to be on the naughty list, consumers are protected against fraudulent charges with a global Zero Liability promise. In addition, Mastercard offers ID Theft alerts to consumer credit and debit cardholders in the U.S. who can sign up here.