With the first day of the new school year just around the corner, it’s time for back-to-school shopping. Parents will be in search of the necessary school supplies, clothing, and other items to prepare their children for a successful school year. Many will take advantage of sales online and in stores, sales tax holidays, free shipping, and so much more. As you “add items to your cart,” whether in-person or virtually, it’s important to be diligent in keeping your financial information secure.
You have a lot to check off your list to get your children ready for a new school year, a list that probably doesn’t include the stress of having your financial information compromised. Keep reading to learn more about ways to safeguard your financial information during back-to-school season.
Set up Mobile Payment and enjoy making purchases easily, securely, and privately. Mobile Payment gives you the option to pay without taking your debit or credit card out of your wallet. Instead, your card information is encrypted and secured within your mobile payment app. This is an added layer of security that could prove to be most helpful.
Coupons and Sales
The cost of school supplies, as with most goods, has increased over the past few years, making it necessary for parents to shop for the best deals online or in store. Consumers may be flooded with emails or social media ads promoting deals from major retailers on school supplies. Taking advantage of those deals can be a great way to save money and help your family stay within your budget.
They can also be part of phishing scams or other scams intended to gain access to your financial information. Before clicking on an ad, validate the deal and the retailer. If you have received an email advertising sales on school supplies, expand the email and ensure that it was sent from the retailer instead of a scammer. As far as ads on apps, a good rule of thumb is, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Avoid clicking on ads and email attachments unless you can validate them. If you want to view an ad from a retailer, go directly to their website and view it there.
Online shopping is fast and convenient, giving shoppers access to unlimited resources. Unfortunately, if the proper security measures aren’t taken, online shopping can leave your personal and financial information exposed.
- Keep software updated on all devices where you will enter personal or financial information.
- Utilize antivirus software to detect any malicious activity and stop it before it becomes a problem.
- Never use a public network while shopping. Public networks aren’t secure and any information you enter on a public network can easily be taken.
- Be smart about shopping apps. Apps make everything convenient, including stealing your private information. Only download apps from reliable sources like the Apple App Store or Google Play. Before downloading, read the reviews and comments to ensure the app is safe.
Monitor Your Account
Download the Centennial Bank mobile app to conveniently and securely access your account. Monitor transactions daily and validate each one. If you have questions about a transaction, call your local Centennial Bank branch as soon as possible and a representative will be happy to assist you.
Don’t add more stress to your back-to-school shopping experience. Securing your financial information and conveniently tracking transactions will help you confidently complete your back-to-school shopping.