Ecommerce has become a norm for shoppers everywhere. Of the 174 million consumers who participating in the holiday retail events following Thanksgiving like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 58 million shopped exclusively online. Another 64 million combined online shopping with in-store adventures, according to the National Retail Federation.
Though online purchases have become much more normalized in recent years, it’s important that consumers understand security risks associated with it. Malicious yet computer-savvy people know that this time of year is prime for phishing attempts and other ways to steal others’ financial or personal information.
While banks have security features in place to protect your data from falling into criminals’ hands, it’s important that you as a consumer also take precautions to protect yourself from identity theft.
Keep your PIN private
One key piece of information hackers look for is your PIN. Criminals seek out clever ways to obtain this number; one way is by simply using cameras. The presence of a security camera in a public place may not arise suspicion, but there’s a possibility that a thief put that device in place. Whenever typing your PIN into a device, whether it’s an ATM, a payment terminal or your phone, keep the keypad covered. A simple move like putting your hand over the top can keep your information safe.
Check for the “S”
When shopping your favorite stores online, don’t check out without first making sure the site is secure. To do this, look at the URL. Before the website name, there should be a “https://”. The “s” is what you’re looking for – it stands for “secure.” There should also be a padlock icon next to the web address. If these signs aren’t there, don’t enter your credit card information into the site.
Use your phone
Bank Midwest’s mobile app and payment portal on the website are both safe, secure ways to make bill payments, purchase goods and check your balance. Instead of using unaffiliated websites or ATMs to perform these tasks, take advantage of our free mobile app to keep your information more secure.
Additionally, when you’re in line to pay at your favorite store, take out your phone instead of your card at the register. Bank Midwest debit cards are compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. These mobile wallet options are secure ways to make a transaction without exposing your credit card numbers to security cameras.