How to stay safe during the coming holidays, the shopping and festivities.
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After a long day of hosting the Thanksgiving meal, many of us avoid going out in the Milwaukee cold for Black Friday and instead opt for a different kind of shopping: either online in the comfort of our own homes where we can purchase the latest kitchen gadgets while wearing pajamas and drinking eggnog, or from local shops and boutiques we want to patronize with our business.
While both are great choices, both have security implications that we should all keep in mind as we gear up for shopping season. Though online shopping has made our lives more convenient, it also brings the potential for credit card or identity theft. Below are some tips to keep you and your small business safe this holiday season.
- Do your homework. If you’re ordering from an online retailer for the first time and aren’t familiar with them, do your homework. Look for reviews from other shoppers to see how their online shopping experience was. If you see poor ratings, it’s probably wise to stay away no matter how good the deal is.
- Watch out for email offers. If your inbox becomes inundated with email offers that seem too good to be true, they probably are. Safety experts recommend visiting the retailer’s website to find deals. Email offers with links could be a phishing scam run by hackers.
- Frequently review your bank accounts. It’s always wise to review your accounts on a regular basis. However, during the holiday shopping season, you should review them more frequently. Online accounts allow us to see transactions up to the minute. If you see something strange, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.
- Make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Unless your antivirus software is set for automatic updates, it may be outdated. Before you begin your online shopping this holiday season, make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Check to see when your software was last updated. If a significant amount of time has passed, do a manual download to get it up to date.
- Never share personal information. When buying online, retailers don’t need personal information, such as date of birth or your social security number. If an online site is asking for this information, leave it immediately. Also, don’t save credit/debit card information on a retailer’s website. Lastly, when you’re finished making a purchase, remember to logout.
- Shop local. Security breaches are more likely to occur at large companies where hackers can gain access to thousands of credit card accounts. To prevent this, support stores in your community by shopping locally. Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward even offers a yearly Saturday Small Business after Black Friday where you can receive amazing deals at some of your favorite neighborhood shops.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Retailers are gearing up for one of the busiest and most profitable times of year – the holidays. Remember, your insurance coverage is just as important as the quality of items you sell in your store.
Something to consider in today’s world of cybercrime and data breaches: Data Compromise coverage should be a key element of your insurance coverage.
It’s common for stores to accept credit cards as payment for goods. While this adds convenience for your customers, it presents significant exposure for a possible breach of their personal identifying and financial information. Fortunately, Data Compromise coverage can provide you with response expense coverage:
- Data Compromise coverage. Response Expense coverage would cover legal review and counsel; forensic IT services to identify what data is exposed and who’s affected; notification of affected individuals; personal services for affected individuals, including a help line; and credit monitoring and case managers for identity fraud victims.
With these tips, you are keeping safety in mind while checking off everything on your wish list this holiday season. Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
For more tips on holiday safety, to obtain more information or be connected with an agent visit thesilverlining.com