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Savings and Safety on Cyber Monday

November 25th, 2014 | By Sandy Spring Bank

??????????By Frank Bentz, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer

The holiday season is a great time to take advantage of the convenience and savings of online shopping. According to a recent survey by Bankrate.com, just 28% of shoppers plan to shop in stores on Black Friday, but 40% plan to shop online. Since 2010, Cyber Monday has reigned as one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, and predictions indicate that this year will be no exception.

Before you get started with your online holiday shopping, consider these tips for protecting your information—and your budget—this season:

  • Make sure your computer, tablet, and mobile device have the latest security, operating system, and browser updates installed.
  • Avoid using unsecured public WiFi connections for sensitive transactions as these networks can easily be monitored by anyone.
  • Shield your login credentials when using your mobile device in public places.
  • When making mobile purchases, take a screen capture of your payment-confirmation window if you are unable to print.
  • Set transaction alerts on your online banking account, so you will know of any unauthorized transactions soon after they occur.
  • Know your bank or card issuer’s policy for fraudulent transactions. At Sandy Spring Bank, our clients are protected by a Zero Liability fraud policy, which protects them from any unauthorized purchases made with their Debit MasterCard.®
  • Purchase from merchants you trust, and only download shopping apps from verified sources.
  • Check the shipping and handling fees that may drive up the cost of your purchase. Some sites only offer free shipping after you spend a certain minimum amount.
  • Make sure you understand merchant return policies before making a purchase, including whether or not you will be responsible for return shipping fees.
  • Save all receipts and verify that the correct amounts are charged to your account. If you see discrepancies or errors, contact the merchant immediately. If the merchant is unresponsive or uncooperative, contact your bank or card issuer to dispute the charge.

With the excitement of spending time with friends and family, sharing in holiday traditions, and the thrill of capturing a good deal online, it’s easy to become distracted. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the savings and convenience of online shopping without worry.


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