Tips for a Safe, Secure Online Shopping Experience

Even though the holiday season can be quite busy, it’s never too busy to ensure that your personal information is safe when shopping online.

The total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2013 is estimated to be $21 billion. As a consumer, you should be on high alert this holiday season, and any time you choose to make purchases online, to avoid falling victim to identity theft and to protect your sensitive financial information.

Find helpful tips below from our partner, Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), and from Premier Bank, that you should consider if you are planning to make any of your holiday purchases online in the coming weeks.

  • Tip #1 – Secure your computer and browser by setting your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software to automatically update and scan your computer.
  • Tip #2 – When creating online passwords, use one that is unique that only you know.
  • Tip #3 – Don’t give Social Security or driver’s license numbers, over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you know exactly whom you’re dealing with.
  • Tip #4 – If you receive an email asking for personal information, do not hit the reply button or click on any links. Go to the sender’s website to investigate further.
  • Tip #5 – Look for secure sites with an “s” in the URL (https://) and a close-padlock icon on the Web page when making purchases. These websites are secure.
  • Tip #6 – Double-check URLs to be sure you are shopping with the company you intended. A simple typo can help identity thieves.

At Premier Bank, our customers’ safety and financial security is our top priority. If you have questions about the security of your financial information, our team at Premier is more than happy to discuss any problems or concerns you might have. Happy Holidays!

Ebola Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

From The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) website:

“US-CERT reminds users to protect against email scams and cyber campaigns using the Ebola virus disease (EVD) as a theme. Phishing emails may contain links that direct users to websites which collect personal information such as login credentials, or contain malicious attachments that can infect a system.”

Read more on the US-CERT website, including preventive measures you can use.