Tips to protect your identity and financial information during the holidays
With the holidays and the busiest shopping season approaching shortly, it’s important to be extra cautious with your personal and financial information. As most people are preoccupied with celebrating the season, scammers and other opportunists are seeking ways to encourage you to compromise your sensitive information. Fortunately, your credit union has some tips to help keep your personal and financial data safe through the holidays and beyond!
Tips for safe shopping online:
- Use websites that are familiar and that you know are trustworthy.
- Even when using sites and shopping from companies you recognize, keep an eye out for misspellings and pay attention to the website address and domain, especially if you did not arrive at the site directly (ie: came from an email). There are many fake sites that appear completely legitimate, but when you look at the site address and domain you will notice it’s incorrect (ie: www.amazon.net (fake) as opposed to www.amazon.com).
- Only shop on websites that have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You can tell if the site has SSL because the URL for the website will begin with HTTPS rather than just HTTP. There will also be an icon of a lock next to the URL.
- If possible, shop online with a credit card rather than a debit card. This protects the funds in your bank account should your card information become compromised. Additionally, if you’re using a CSCU Mastercard credit card, you’re protected by our zero liability policy for unauthorized use.
- Keep your antivirus up-to-date on your electronic devices to protect them from invasive malware, spyware and other malicious programs. Don’t have antivirus programs on your devices? Check out these free options.
General tips for keeping your personal and financial data safe:
- Be wary of online quizzes. While they may appear innocent, these quizzes are sometimes designed to encourage you to provide information that could be used to answer security questions (ie: your first pet’s name, etc.).
- Do not click on links or open attachments in emails or text messages from unknown senders or respond to suspicious communications from a known sender.
- Do not respond to calls, texts, emails or outreach from unknown senders or callers.
- Ignore requests to provide or verify personal or financial information even if the request appears to be from a known source.
- Frequently check your financial statements and transactions reports to monitor activity. It’s easy to do this online with CSCU’s online statements and online banking.
CSCU is committed to helping you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season. As always, if you have any questions regarding financial security or concerns about any of your accounts, please give your CSCU Contact Center a call at (209) 444-5300.