Protect Your Credit Card on Cyber Monday

The following YouTube video is from CNET.

Black Friday is behind us, but the holiday shopping deals have just begun. Today, commonly known as Cyber Monday, is a chance for consumers to purchase goods from online retailers at significant markdowns.

But those increased savings often come with some added risk. For one, this weekend is a “superbowl” of sorts for credit card fraudsters, as the uptick in online transactions brings with it greater opportunities to take advantage of vulnerable customers.

While that may be the bad news, the good news is that there are some practical steps you can make to significantly lower this risk:

  • First, consider using a mobile payment system when purchasing items on your phone. Depending on which phone you are using, your options could be Apple Pay or Android Pay as the major players. These services use “tokenization,” which shields your personal information from the vendor during the transaction.
  • Second, when a vendor doesn’t accept mobile payment systems, a virtual credit card is another alternative. These virtual cards are actually one-time-use numbers linked to your every day credit card.
  • Third, look out for phishing emails, another source of credit card fraud. Just because an email from a vendor looks legitimate doesn’t mean it is. They may offer great deals, but when you click on these offers you are redirected to a fraudulent site where credit card thieves are ready to swipe your credit card information.
  • Finally, be sure you create unique passwords for each vendor’s website you purchase from. That way if your password is stolen, the damage can be limited. In addition, never save your credit card number on the merchant’s site.

So while the threat of credit card fraud is real, you can play a major part in reducing it. Common sense along with some industry-recommended practices will go a long way toward keeping you safe not only on Cyber Monday, but every time you log online to shop this holiday season.

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About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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