Safety Online Shopping During Holidays: How to Avoid Fraud12/22/2023
As the holiday season approaches, the allure of online shopping grows stronger. It's convenient and offers a wider selection of gifts, and let's face it, it's nice to avoid the hustle and bustle of crowded stores.
However, with the rise of online shopping comes a risk of falling victim to fraud. According to Adobe’s online shopping forecast, the volume of online sales is expected to grow by 4.8% in 2023. The National Retail Federation adds that 58% of consumers plan to shop online over the holidays. This makes it more important than ever to ensure the safety of your financial data.
1. Choose Credit Cards Over Debit Cards
Try to use your credit card when shopping online. Why? It's simple. Credit cards offer better protection in the case of fraud.
If your debit card details fall into the wrong hands, the fraudster could directly access your bank account, potentially draining your funds. Recovering this money is a lengthy process. In contrast, credit cards offer a buffer. Your actual money isn't immediately at stake, and you have a better chance of resolving fraudulent charges without financial loss.
2. Be a Smart Online Browser
It’s not just about what you use to pay but also how you browse.
Keep your devices updated, use strong, unique passwords for each account, and avoid making transactions over public Wi-Fi. Look for added security features on retail sites like two-factor authentication to safeguard your information further.
3. Consider Using a Digital Wallet
Options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal offer additional layers of security. These digital wallets use tokenization, assigning a unique number to each transaction, so your actual card number remains protected.
This way, your card details are safe even if a transaction is compromised. Plus, digital wallets often come with extra credit card rewards.
4. Verify Before You Trust
With so many tempting deals, clicking on a suspicious link is easy. Be vigilant. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Scams often involve fake ads or misleading shipment notifications. Always verify the website's URL and avoid clicking on links from unknown sources. Remember, taking a few extra steps to enter a website manually can save you a lot of hassle.
5. Use Additional Security Features
Many credit cards offer security alerts and additional protections. These include notifications of transactions, which help in spotting unauthorized activities quickly. Regularly checking your credit score for unusual activity is also a wise practice.
6. Leverage Purchase Protection Benefits
Credit cards often come with purchase protection benefits, which can be handy for holiday shopping. This involves things like coverage against damage or theft and extended product warranties. Cards like the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer robust purchase protection, making them ideal for online shopping.
Make Your Online Shopping Safe
Online shopping is a blessing, especially during the busy holiday season. But with this convenience comes the responsibility of safeguarding our financial information.