5 Online Shopping Tips to Keep You Feeling Jolly This Holiday Season

Thinking of doing most of your holiday shopping online this year? While there are plenty of benefits to online shopping including comparison shopping, avoiding impulse buys that might catch your eye in-store, and missing the crowds, it’s important to remain vigilant with your financial information while online. Follow our five tips to ensure you’re keeping your data wrapped as tightly as the gifts under this year’s tree.

  1. There’s no place like home when shopping for the holidays.
    A secure network connection, like those in most homes or workplaces, is ideal for online shopping. Avoid making purchases over public Wi-Fi which can be hacked by someone with the right tools, exposing your passwords, billing information and other sensitive data.
  2. Browse smartly.
    If you’re shopping on a website, be sure you’re looking for the security padlock symbol in the URL bar left of the company’s name, and ensure the web address starts with “https”. The “s” means the data you send and receive from the site is encrypted. If you’re shopping from a vendor whose post you saw on social media, make sure the directed website adheres to the web guidelines outlined. Consider paying via an encryption payment source such as ApplePay or PayPal, which only sends encrypted payment information and not your actual card data.
  1. Use Online Banking to monitor account activity.
    If your information or identity is stolen, one of the first signs of improper use is unusual charges on your debit or credit cards. Login to Online Banking regularly to monitor activity on your account or use a free credit monitoring service like AnnualCreditReport.com to keep an eye on your credit. Plus, by logging in, you are more likely to keep a better eye on your spending as compared to your shopping budget.
  1. Use a credit card for online purchases.
    In addition to possibly providing some sort of reward benefit, shopping with a credit card exposes you to less risk online. Consumers who experience fraudulent credit card activity are only liable for up to $50 of the purchase regardless of the transaction amount; in most cases, credit card providers don’t charge the victimized consumer anything. Debit card purchases may be harder and more time consuming to recoup loss, or a fraudster may drain your checking account before you realize your debit card has been compromised.
  1. Rely on your Bank’s fraud detection program.
    State Bank has a lot of fraud monitoring in place to ensure the most protection for you. If you receive a call, email or text from our fraud detection center asking you to verify purchases, respond accordingly. But remember, the Bank will never ask for your account or Social Security number during a purchase verification interaction. And if the communication seems suspicious and asks for account number or Social Security number, it could be a phishing attempt. Alert us by calling 866.348.4674 so we can verify and flag your account accordingly.

Above all, remember that State Bank is here to help you and your account stay healthy, wealthy and wise. Shop online with confidence using these simple tips to help you remain vigilant this holiday season.