5 Ways To Stay Vigilant When Transacting Online During COVID-19
You can't trust all email and text messages.
As we continue to practice social distancing and take steps to control the spread of the coronavirus, increasingly, we are relying on making digital payments. Whether paying for a delivery for an at-home date night, sending money to a family member living abroad, or donating to local relief efforts, we should feel confident and comfortable making online payments.
The truth is, in times of uncertainty, spammers and scammers around the world try to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. It’s important to stay vigilant and protect ourselves from these attempts.
To increase the security of online payments and prevent the risk of interference from scammers, PayPal has provided tips to help make online transactions as safe as possible.
1. Don’t Trust All Email and Text Messages: Watch out for messages that demand urgent or immediate action, especially if an email comes from an odd or unfamiliar sender. Even if a message appears to come from a trusted source, such as your bank, know that financial institutions will never ask for personal identifying information in an email or text.
2. Avoid Public WiFi: If you need to access online banking or financial accounts, or need to provide personal information, avoid using public WiFi networks. Instead, wait until you get home and can access a private network.
3. Monitor Your Credit Report: Several services allow you to check your credit report for free. Search online to find a reputable company and review your report frequently. If you’re not actively pursuing new lines of credit or loans, consider applying a credit freeze through the credit bureaus.
4. Regularly Check Your Financial Accounts: Monitoring activity on your accounts is one of the best ways to help protect yourself against fraud. Don’t forget to regularly review who has access to your accounts to ensure all authorized users are current.
5. Update Your Software, Including on Smartphones and Tablets: When updates are available, download them as soon as you can. Updates often include important security enhancements you should take advantage of immediately.
BONUS TIP: To make online transactions secure, create an account with PayPal. It’s free to sign up and allows you to confidently make and receive payments. Your financial information is stored in a secure platform, so you don’t have to share bank and credit account numbers each time you make a transaction online. Plus, PayPal lets you add an extra layer of security. Set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), which requires an additional piece of information along with your username and password at the time of your purchase. This helps you verify all online activity.