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Safe Online Shopping

06/15/2020 - Avoiding Fraud & Enhancing Security, Leveraging Digital and Mobile Tools

Gentleman shopping online, holding his financial card in one hand inputs the details on the computer with his other hand. Gentleman shopping online, holding his financial card in one hand inputs the details on the computer with his other hand.

Nowadays, more and more people prefer to do their shopping online. You can find a lot of great deals often with low-cost or free shipping. Having an easy-to-access marketplace that’s open 24/7/365 where any product is at your fingertips is great. But it’s important to be cautious when shopping online. The tips below can help ensure your purchases are secure.

  1. Use credit cards instead of debit cards when shopping online. Credit cards generally offer additional protection compared to debit cards because credit cards are not linked to funds you own. Additionally, credit cards have a limit to the amount you are responsible for if your account information is stolen.
  2. Use secure online payment services (like PayPal). With these services, the retailer never receives your financial information – that limits the chances of your information being stolen.
  3. Always look for the “https” URL when shopping online. The added “s” at the end of “http” means that the site you’re visiting is encrypted, so your financial data (such as your credit card details) are kept private. In most cases, the text in the URL is preceded by a padlock symbol, which also means your information is protected.
  4. Avoid shopping via public Wi-Fi. Instead, opt for your mobile phone network. It may be more convenient to use public Wi-Fi, but there are many risks. Most hotspots are not secure, so your information is available for any hacker to use.
  5. If an online deal seems “too good to be true” – avoid it. Be cautious of bait and switch scams and any website that looks questionable. Check to see if the site is reliable and if anyone has reviewed the product, company or deal.
  6. Only share what’s required for your purchase. You’ll likely need to give your name, address, phone number, email and credit card information. It’s best to just fill in the required information fields that have asterisks.

As great as online shopping is, be cautious when making internet purchases.

To learn more ways to protect yourself while making online purchases, you should visit the FTC’s consumer site for more tips.

Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.

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