It is more crucial than ever to ensure that you are protecting yourself online as our world continues to see a shift in the retail landscape from purchasing at a brick-and-mortar to ordering virtually. The effects of COVID-19 have only served to speed up this transition, especially during the holiday season. The three tips below are good practices to follow when ordering online.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
There are two reasons for using a credit card instead of a debit card when placing an online order. First, when you use your credit card and pay it off each month, you build up your credit score. Second, if someone were to obtain your information, it is much easier to cancel a credit card than switch your account information linked to the debit card. Switching your account information means that any automatic deposits or withdrawals you set up will need to be reinstated once you are given a new account number.
- Avoid saving your card information to websites.
There are two reasons that you should avoid saving your card information to a website. The first is having this information readily available will often encourage impulse buying. Having to enter your card information forces you to take an additional pause when making a purchase and can prevent an impulse by as well as a blown budget. The second reason you should avoid saving your card information is doing so increases your risk for potential fraud. The more places your card information is stored, the greater the risk of fraud.
- Ensure that you are set up to receive transaction alerts.
Receiving transaction alerts allows you to receive a message every time a charge is put on your card. So not only is it yet another great tool to help with your budgeting, but it also is the quickest way to know if someone is committing fraud using your information. The quicker you know fraud is happening, the quicker you can react and save yourself more time, money, and heartache.
If you have any questions, want more tips, or would like to get set up to receive transaction alerts? Contact us at 515-278-1994, and a member of our team will be happy to assist you!
It can be stressful when you look at your account and are surprised by the amount available. You then look at your transactions and see that there was a charge from a state 500 miles away from where you’re at. You panic and call your financial institution right away and they tell you that they will start a case. You’re stressed because your bills are due tomorrow and you don’t know when you’ll get your money back.
Prevention is key, and here are some tips for shopping online safely:
Consider Using Your Credit Card
Dispute your charges and still pay your bills. If your credit card is compromised, at least you can still pay your rent. Credit card merchants can usually work more quickly on dispute cases than debit card dispute cases, so you’ll get your credit back quicker! Just be sure to pay off your credit card every month to avoid finance charges.
Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks & Websites
Always be cautious while using public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi networks are usually shared, so the information you send while you’re on that network is not encrypted. If you’re wanting to do any personal business on a public network, it is safer to use your cellular data network. The “S” in https means secure. Check the URL of the website, does it say “https:” or does “http:”?
Read the Fine Print
Before entering in your card information into a website that you have not used before, be sure to read the fine print. The product companies that suggest you will be receiving a “free gift” and you would just be paying for the shipping, are usually those that say in the very fine print “you are authorizing a $59.99/mo. subscription”.
Things happen, and sometimes they are out of your control. Use these tips to prevent a stressful situation for yourself.
If you don’t have a credit card and are interested in getting one, check out Midland Credit Union’s low credit card rate: https://www.midlandcu.org/all-loans/credit-card/