The holidays usually bring an increase in shopping – buying gifts, extra food, or a night out with friends and family. Read these tips before you pay to keep your accounts safe this holiday season.

Be aware of your bank and credit card transactions: Checking your bank accounts often can be your first line of defense against  any unauthorized activity. If you regularly check your account and statements, you’re more likely to notice fraud and be able to quickly report it.

You can also set up text or email alerts any time a transaction is made or if there is suspected fraud.

Avoid using debit cards online: When online shopping, credit cards are the better payment option when checking out. Credit cards typically have more customer protections than debit cards.

An even better option is using a third-party service to make your payment such as Google pay or Paypal. This is a great option because you are not directly giving out your credit card information.

Shop smart: When shopping online, make sure that the URLs of the websites you are visiting are legitimate. Scam websites, may have URLs that appear to be the correct name of the website, but many will replace numbers with letters, such as an “o” to a zero or take out the “s” in “https.” Typing out websites yourself instead of clicking on links is also a great way to avoid scam websites. When looking at a new company or one you have not heard of before, it is always important to do a quick search to read reviews and confirm that it is a legitimate website. 

You should also never give out too much information. If you are suspicious a website is asking for more personal information than required, trust your gut and do not give the information.

Use a variety of passwords: Using a variety of passwords can significantly help reduce the chances of your accounts getting hacked. Frequently changing or using different phrases for passwords can help keep your bank and personal information safe. There are also many password saving devices, such as LastPass and Dashlane, that can be used to keep track and record your different passwords.

Lock your card: If you lose your credit card you should immediately lock your card. You can easily disable unauthorized access on your credit card from your digital device by logging into online or mobile banking and selecting View My Visa. If you find your card, simply unlock it, or if the card is lost/stolen call us to report it.

We hope these tips help you to have a safe and happy holiday season.