This holiday season, Veterans need to keep an eye out for more than just great deals — this is when cyber criminals are cooking up a cornucopia of schemes to capture your credit card data and crash your holiday plans.
VA’s Privacy Service has a few tips on how you can shop safely this season and keep from getting more than you bargained for.
- Use credit cards rather than debit cards. If your data is stolen, credit card fraud protection allows you to dispute the erroneous charges. Debit cards also provide some fraud protection, but it is your money that is tied up during a dispute, rather than that of the credit card company.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi. Anyone can access public Wi-Fi and many hackers know how to steal your information on an open network. It’s best to shop at home on a secure network.
- Monitor your accounts. Review your bank statements regularly for suspicious charges.
- Use strong passwords. Use passwords that are at least eight characters long and are a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for multiple sites.
- Stay alert. If you’re out shopping at a retail store, shield your credit card numbers when you pay so that your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Want to learn more about privacy? Visit VA Privacy Service at https://www.oprm.va.gov/privacy for tips, tools and resources for staying safe online.
This article was submitted to VAntage Point by VA’s Privacy Service program. Founded in 2002, VA Privacy Service is a division of the Office of Privacy and Records Management.