At Univest, we are committed to protecting your personal and
financial information. We also believe that keeping our customers
informed is one of the best ways to help protect against online
fraud and identity theft.
Tips for secure online shopping during the holiday
An increase in online shopping coincides with an increase in
mobile device use as shoppers utilize special holiday smartphone
apps to find the best deals. Before you click or tap to buy items
on your holiday list, read the tips below to avoid becoming a
victim of cybercrime.
1. Secure your mobile device and
computer. Make sure the operating system and
application software are up-to-date on all of your computers and
mobile devices. Additionally, confirm all installed
anti-virus/anti-spyware software is running and receiving
automatic updates and your firewall is enabled.
2. Know and trust your online shopping
merchants. Limit online shopping to merchants you're
familiar with and trust. If you have questions about a
merchant's credibility, check with the Better Business Bureau
or Federal Trade Commission.
3. Look for security symbols in the web
address. Before you make an online purchase look for
indicators that the site is secure. Make sure the web address
begins with "https" and a padlock or key icon is displayed in the
address or status bar to ensure the transaction will
4. Create strong passwords. One of the
easiest and most important factors in protecting
your computer, mobile device and personal accounts is
to use unique, complex passwords. A good rule of
thumb is to create passwords that consist of at least eight
characters containing upper and lower case letters, numbers
5. Do not click on pop-ups.
When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for
answering a question or taking a survey, close it by pressing
Control + F4 for PCs and Control + W for Macs.
6. Be wary of unsolicited
communications. Cybercriminals take advantage of
holiday generosity through fake donation requests. Always
verify the request by contacting the organization directly and
never click on links within unsolicited emails. Information on many
current scams can be found on the Internet Crime Complaint Center's
7. Avoid using public computers/wireless when shopping
online. Public computers may contain malicious
software that steals your credit card information when completing a
transaction. Additionally, criminals may intercept traffic on
public wireless networks and steal your confidential
8. Pay by credit card, not debit card.
The safest way to shop online is to pay with a credit card rather
than a debit card as credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit
Billing Act and may reduce your liability if your information was
9. Print your online
transactions. Keep record of your online
transactions, including receipts, product description and
price, and any emails between you and the seller. Carefully review
your credit card statement to confirm that all charges are
legitimate. Immediately contact your credit card company if there
are unauthorized charges to your account.
10. Review merchant privacy policies.
It's important to know what information the merchant is collecting
about you, how it will be stored, how it will be used and if it
will be shared with others.
8 Tips to Protect Your Identity
Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes
in the United States. In the U.S., 12.6 million people, or 1 out of
every 20 consumers, were victims of identity fraud last year.
Univest recommends following these tips to keep your information -
and your money - safe.
1. Do not share your secrets. Do not
provide your Social Security number or account information to
anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs
and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination
of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them
periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on
social networking sites.
2. Shred sensitive papers. Shred
receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before
throwing them away.
3. Keep an eye out for missing mail.
Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other
mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in
online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being
stolen. Also, do not mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag
4. Use online banking to protect
yourself. Monitor your financial accounts regularly
for fraudulent transactions. Sign up for text or email alerts from
your bank for certain types of transactions, such as online
purchases or transactions of more than $500.
5. Monitor your credit report. Order
a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the
three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.
6. Protect your computer. Make sure
the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to
date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser's
padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an "s" after the
"http" to be sure the website is secure.
7. Protect your mobile device. Use
the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will
make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if
your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade
your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software
or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software
allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or
8. Immediately report any suspected fraud to
Univest by calling 877.723.5571.