CISO at U.S. Bank offers tips for secure online purchasing

The thrill and chaos of holiday shopping has started, and unfortunately with that comes the inherent risk of fraud. With an increased threat of digital fraud, what can consumers do to secure their personal data?

“It’s important to remember the critical role consumers play when it comes to protecting their personal information and data; they can’t rely on businesses and retailers alone,” said Jason Witty, CISO at U.S. Bank. “Holiday shopping is fun, but it’s important to always remember the risks involved and take proper precautions.”

Witty has provided five tips for protecting personal information while shopping online during the holiday season:

1. Beware of the Grinch lurking in your inbox: It’s always safer to manually type in the website of the company you are looking to make a purchase from than click on a link from an email. Criminals often times create “fake” advertisements looking to fool the average holiday shopper – if it came in an email and it’s too good to believe, it’s probably a scam.

2. Spend the holidays with those you trust: There are a lot of websites out there. Do you know the company you are about to buy from? Did their website just pop up on the internet this week? It’s always a good idea to know who you are giving your payment or personal information to. Generally speaking, if you have never heard of a company, it’s a bit of a gamble to give them your information.

3. New technology isn’t just for under the tree: New technologies like ApplePay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay utilize a system called tokenization. This allows you to pay using a secure “token” that is tied to your credit or debit card (and device), but is not the actual credit or debit card number. If you don’t have the ability to use one of these newer technologies, try to pay using one of the newer “chip” cards that also provide much more security than the traditional magnetic stripe on the back of your card.

4. The more the merrier: If you have more than one credit card, you can manage your “hassle risk” much more effectively if you use one card to put into websites that will store that information (e.g. your gas/energy company, your phone company, a major online retailer you use frequently) and a totally different card that you use for holiday purchases.

5. Keep an eye on your shopping list: Consumers are the first line of defense. Check your accounts online regularly (maybe even daily) to be sure there are no lumps of coal.

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