With everything that 2020 has thrown at us, the last thing you need is for credit card fraud to ruin your holidays.
Of course, there’s never a good time to deal with credit card fraud, but at the end of a tumultuous year, it makes sense to try and enjoy the holidays as much as possible. Having your holiday shopping take a costly, fraudulent detour can get in the way. Here are a few tips for protecting yourself while doing your holiday shopping and making sure your holidays stay cheery and bright.
Keeping an eye on what’s going on isn’t just a job for the Elf on the Shelf® or the Mensch on the Bench®. One of the best ways to avoid being caught off guard by fraud is to stay on guard and monitor your accounts for any unrecognized charges. If your bank or card issuer offers alerts—like the MasterCard® Alerts on Suffolk Federal credit cards—this is a great time to turn them on so that you know when your card is being used.
Watch where you’re going
Online shopping offers a great convenience, especially in a year like this, when avoiding crowds is important for your physical and mental health. However, links you see in email and on websites may not always take you where you think you’re going; they could lead you to an unreliable site where your information may be stolen. Wherever possible, type in web addresses rather than clicking links, and make sure you know exactly where you’re shopping.
Guard your information
If you’re doing online shopping in public, chances are you’re not going to let strangers get too close anyway, given the emphasis on social distancing. Still, it never hurts to protect yourself in coffee shops and restaurants, or wherever else you might be shopping with your smartphone or laptop. Using a digital wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay can help protect your credit card from wandering eyes, and using cellular data to access the internet instead of unsecured public Wi-Fi will keep your information away from hackers.
If you’re shopping in person, using a card with an EMV chip offers greater protection than a card with a magnetic strip alone. The chip provides dynamic data that can’t be known or guessed by someone who steals your card or card number, and it makes cards harder to replicate. All Suffolk Federal credit cards include EMV chips.
Whatever card you’re using to do your shopping this holiday season, following the tips above will help keep you safe. Suffolk Federal also offers credit card protection to better help protect your credit cards from fraud.