November 29. 2016
Shoppers should make sure they are on secure websites when shopping this holiday season. (bykst/flickr)
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Shopping for the holidays is in full force and there are a couple of security tips people should keep in mind to keep their information safe.
Janet Buckalew, the vice president of business development of Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union, said people should make sure the website they’re accessing starts with HTTPS, which signifies a secure site, and to never access personal information when connected to wireless networks in public. It can be easy to forget security tips, she said, but fraud is especially high during the holiday season when so much shopping is going on.
“They’re predicting it’s going to be a record holiday season and I think with all the busyness that we tend to just let our guard down when we need to be probably even more careful,” she said.
Buckalew said it’s a good idea to look through websites and make sure there isn’t anything that looks funny, like misspellings or a web address that ends in the abbreviation for another country. Craigslist is another place where people are frequently scammed. She said when it comes to deals, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
Cards with EMV chips are the most secure kinds of cards to use while shopping in person. The chips add an extra layer of security by creating a unique transaction number for every purchase made with the card. Buckalew said skimming is another problem that her credit union saw last year. Skimmers will put devices that can steal people’s information on the front of ATMs where they slide their cards.
“It hit our area really strong last year but we’ve heard that they’re started up again,” she added. “It’s the holiday season so people tend to be more trustworthy and use those machines.”
Buckalew said it’s okay to check ATMs to make sure no pieces fall off before sliding a card. If a part does come off, there could be a skimming device on the ATM. She said another way for shoppers to protect themselves is to check their accounts and statements frequently. If there’s any suspicious activity, they should call their financial institution right away.
Source: Public New Service, republished with permission.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service – OR