It’s online shopping season! Okay, maybe you shop online all year round. But this time of year, with the holidays right around the corner, online sales will skyrocket. Cyber thieves know this, and they’re waiting for unsuspecting shoppers to make a mistake. Jeopardizing your personal security puts you at risk for all sorts of troubles, including watching your credit score sink.
Protect your identity this season with these tips:
- Buy from sites you trust. New websites pop up all the time. While many are perfectly legitimate, there may be some that are set up solely to steal your credit information. Use caution when buying from a site you’re not familiar with and, when you can, buy from sites you already know and trust or come with a good reputation.
- Use secure sites. In the URL bar, you should see a little locked padlock to the left of the website address. If you don’t see this, your connection to that site is not secure. You may also see a small “I” in a circle. You can click on that to see the security status of the site. If the connection is not secure, do not give your personal information to that site. Also, never give credit card information over email.
- Don’t give out more information than necessary. You should never need to give out your social security number, for example, to make a purchase. If something seems off, trust your gut.
- Keep your computer secure. Install browser updates as necessary, as they often contain security patches you need to protect your information. Similarly, be sure your malware-protection software is up to date. (You do have anti-virus, malware- , and spyware-protection software on your computer, right?) And always be sure you’re connected to secure wi-fi. Never use your personal information while connected to public wi-fi or a public computer.
- When using a mobile device for shopping, take similar precautions. Use trusted apps and secure wi-fi. Your phone can get hacked just as easily as your laptop.
Using common sense can go a long way toward protecting your identity and, ultimately, your credit score. Don’t take unnecessary risks because you found the best deal ever. And if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make smart choices – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you need auto financing but your credit is keeping you from getting approved, CreditYes can help! We can match you with a dealership in your area that will be with you every step of the way. Our service is fast and free. Fill out our secure online application and get behind the wheel of your next car today!