Cyber Monday Shopping Safety Tips

If you’re planning to snag some great shopping deals online, you’ll need to be sure you’re shopping smart. Here’s a quick brush up on some old safety tips to help you make secure transactions on your mobile devices.

  1. Stick to Secure Websites Nothing take the happy out of the holidays like identity theft. To help protect yourself online, always make sure you’re shopping on a secure website before inputting any financial or personal information, such as a credit card payment.To make sure a website is encrypted over a secure connection, simply check the URL. Secure websites will begin with “https”. The “s” at the stands for secure and indicates that the website has enabled an SSL (secure socket layer) connection. You can also check for the “lock” icon that will be displayed somewhere in the window of your web browser.
  2. Don’t Shop on Unsecured Wi-Fi HotspotsFree public Wi-Fi networks can help you avoid eating up dating data while you’re on the go this holiday season. However, these networks should also be used with caution, especially when it comes to access your personal information. This is because unsecured Wi-Fi networks don’t require passwords and can be easily hacked by thieves who can not only gain access to your browser history while you’re on the network, they can also tap into the personal information you entered there.To play it safe, we recommend only shopping on secure Wi-Fi hotspots that require a password or using your phone’s network data.
  3. Steer Clear of Too-Good-To-Be True Deals Cyber criminals know that shoppers are on the prowl for great deals and they’re ready to prey on your by impulses by luring consumers with too-good-to-be-true deals that may have you clicking first and asking questions later. Watch out for these offers promising unreal deals, especially when they come in the form emails or text messages. Just clicking on the links in these messages could potentially leave your device vulnerable to phishing software or malware.
  4. Update Your Anti-Virus Software You may have installed anti-virus and other protective software programs when you first got your laptop or other device, but when was the last time you took time to update it? Anti-virus and anti-phishing tools are keys to protecting your devices, but these software programs need to be regularly updated with patches that can protect you from the latest virus and malware. As you gear up for a long holiday season of shopping online, now is a great time to update these programs.Pro tip: Set it and forget it. Many anti-virus software programs have settings that allow users automatically initiate updates when upgrades and patches are available. Take advantage of these features to make sure you’re protecting your electronics all year round.
  5. Use Apps Carefully Shopping on your phone or tablet? Keep an eye out for phony apps. Once downloaded, these programs can release malware on to your device or lift your personal and financial information stored on the platform for purchases.• Stick to reputable marketplaces when downloading and purchasing apps. These marketplaces have a well-developed Terms of Service policy, FAQ and developer contact information.• Research the app vendor. Look closely for an app privacy policy, the information made available to advertisers and clear contact information.

    • Check the number of app downloads and read the reviews. The more downloads an app has, the more reputable it is. And while even great apps will have some bad reviews, taking a look at what other users have to say can help ensure the app is secure, functional and (most importantly) legitimate.

  6. Follow Your Favorite Retailers Your favorite stores and brands are constantly tweeting and posting about their latest promotions and deals on social media. By following these official accounts, shoppers can stay up-to-date on big sales and act quickly on limited offers. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to shop with confidence knowing that the vendors you are working with and the deals you are taking advantage are legitimate.
  7. Enable Green Country FCU Account Alerts & Check online banking often While there may always be some risk to shopping online, keeping an eye on your accounts is one of the best ways to spot and report potential fraud as early as possible, potentially saving you time and money.One of the easiest ways for members to monitor their Green Country accounts for suspicious activity is to sign up for account alerts inside online banking. These email or text message notifications will be automatically sent to your cell phone or email when certain activity occurs within your account. If you do receive a notification regarding your account that looks out of the ordinary or suspicious, be sure to let us know immediately!Set up Alerts on your Green Country accounts today – check out our how to guide.