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Online Shopping Safety Tips

With so many sales and promotions from retailers, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Please be extra cautious and follow these simple tips when looking for the latest bargains online.

Shop with retailers you know and trust.

Any website can be attacked by hackers, but limiting your shopping to established and trusted retailers reduces your risk of exposure. Visit their websites directly rather than clicking on offers in ads, emails, or text messages. That will keep you safe from fraudsters who create realistic-looking fake websites designed to look just like the sites of trusted retailers.

Only use trusted Wi-Fi connections.

Public Wi-Fi requires no authentication to establish a network connection, allowing fraudsters direct access to any unsecured devices on the same open network. This enables hackers to steal valuable information such as login passwords, credit card info, and other personal and financial details.

Update your devices so they have the latest security features.

Make sure that all your security software is up-to-date. This will prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your computer through vulnerabilities in older and outdated systems. The installation of anti-virus software will also help detect threats on your computer and block unauthorized users from gaining access.

Beware of phishing emails.

Phishing is one of the most popular ways for criminals to steal your personal information, and there is always a massive increase in these types of scams on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be wary of any emails offering cash prizes or last-minute deals. These emails are designed to trick shoppers into clicking on a link that may appear to come from a well-known retailer. Trust your gut if you think there’s something not right about the email and delete it immediately.

Always use strong passwords.

Did you create an account, instead of checking out as a guest, to make it easier to shop with a favorite retailer? Be sure to protect it with a strong password so a hacker can't get into your account, steal your information, or make a purchase with your card. Keep in mind, it's also a good idea to decline to save your card information on a retailer's site to keep yourself even safer. A password manager can generate secure passwords, store them, and autofill them when you want to shop.

Keep a close eye on banking and credit card activity.

Criminals know that during Black Friday and Cyber Monday there will be lots of online activity, so they hope that any unusual debits from your account will go unnoticed. Glance over your transactions, make sure the amounts are correct and look for fraud. If you spot an unauthorized transaction, call your bank or card issuer immediately.

Always remember...

Alliance Bank will NEVER contact you asking for your secure access code, account number, credit or debit card number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), or online banking username or password. If someone emails, calls, or sends you a text message asking for this information, hang up and contact us immediately at 1-877-903-2265.

Your safety is our priority!