Internet fraud is by no means uncommon. Online scammers do about $264.6 million worth of damage every year. To make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid scams, stay up to date with these 8 simple tips.
- Make sure your computer has a firewall program
Firewall programs help protect your computer from viruses, malicious users and more. Shop around to see which firewall program is best for your computer or device, and then use it consistently to protect yourself from fraud.
- Ensure the websites you’re shopping on are secure
There are a handful of ways to verify that a website is secure. One easy way to know a site is secure is if the URL starts with “https,” rather than just “http” when you enter the check out process. Websites must go through a security validation process to have the “https” added. You may also want to check the site’s contact information to ensure they have a physical address and phone number available.
- Check your account regularly
The easiest way to see if someone is making charges on your behalf is by checking your account activity often – at least once a week. We’ll let you know if we spot any suspicious activity, but you should be diligent in checking your activity and reporting anything suspicious.Using the MyOCCU Mobile Banking app is a great way to keep in touch with OCCU and check account statements on the go. MyOCCU Mobile Banking app also notifies you of things that could indicate fraud such as unusual charges on your credit card.
- Always verify the final amount before you pay
With online shopping, you can buy an entire wardrobe at the click of a button. It’s extremely important to make sure your final cost matches exactly what you’re ordering. Review the final amount before you pay – no matter what website or computer you’re using.
- Use your credit card instead of debit card online
While fraud can occur through debit or credit cards, recovering is simpler through credit. With debit, a fraudster can take funds directly out of your checking account, which could prohibit you from being able to use those funds before you become aware of the issue. Whenever fraud occurs, OCCU is diligent about helping members recover and receive refunds quickly. However, it is still best to use a credit card, rather than your debit card.
- Never save passwords, no matter what device you’re on
Even on your own computer, saving passwords can put your identity at risk. Why? If someone were to steal your device, they’d be able to access accounts for whichever sites and apps you have saved passwords for. Instead, write down your password somewhere safe and be sure to always sign out. On shared devices, take an extra step and clear the browsing data for extra security.
- Keep your passwords secure and strong
When creating a password, try mixing lowercase and capital letters, numbers and symbols. These combinations make guessing your password much harder for fraudsters who would like to hack into your accounts.
- Use Apply Pay from your iPhone or iPad to add extra security to in app purchases
Apple Pay provides an easy, secure, and private way to pay from your mobile device in participating apps. Using Apple Pay to make an in app purchase eliminates the need to enter your card number or enter personal contact information into the app.
Online shopping is convenient. And with a little vigilance, it can be safe too. OCCU cares about keeping you and your identity safe. If you have any questions about staying secure online, reach out to an OCCU representative at 800.365.1111 or stop by your local branch.