Just as you would exercise caution with your wallet and belongings in a crowded store, Mid Oregon Credit Union reminds you to be alert with your plastic cards – online or in a store. Thieves know that the holiday season is a busy time with all the shopping, decorating, and entertaining- so be extra alert – there are a lot of ways thieves may try to take advantage of you to get your sensitive information.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for safe and secure holiday shopping:
1. Always monitor credit and debit card account charges and contact your financial institution immediately if anything looks unusual or even causes you to pause. Mid Oregon Online Banking provides security tools as an extra layer of protection. You can set up Account Alerts, check your balances, print statements, change your security PIN, and more.
2. When shopping online, check to make sure the site is verified and the URL begins with https://. Treat public hot spots like the transparent environment they really are. Only shop from your home computer with a private Wi-Fi connection. And finally, don’t ever store your card information on a retail site – it may be convenient but it’s just not safe.
3. Credit cards offer consumers the most protection. Consider a local Visa credit card from Mid Oregon Credit Union where it can be easily monitored and where you can talk to a local person if you need assistance.
4. When you make a debit card purchase, always run your debit card as a credit. If a thief runs off with your card number, there is a time lag before the issuer pays the charge. When using your PIN, the charge essentially comes out as cash so the thief can run your account dry before you have time to react.
5. ATM safety: Check to see if the card reader has been tampered with or if there are any cameras or prying eyes watching you. If something seems odd about the machine, don’t continue and report it to your financial institution.
6. Mid Oregon Credit Union offers a notification service for credit or debit charges. If a suspicious charge is made to your card for a set amount, or any amount, they’ll contact you so that you can investigate it right away if needed.
7. As an alternative, use Pre-paid Debit cards or Gift Cards and load them with the amount you want and spend only the amount you have. Cardholders can get reimbursed for stolen pre-paid cards, if you report them right away.
8. Stickley on Security keeps you informed with up-to-date security news, education, and alerts. Go to midoregon.com and click the Security Ticker on the upper right-hand corner of the webpage.
Last but not least, don’t let holiday stress get the best of your holiday spirit. Make time to get together with family, friends, and neighbors. And think about reaching out in the spirit of the season and helping someone who’s less fortunate or lonely.