Keep Up Your Guard While Holiday Shopping

Published November 26, 2015

As the holiday shopping season gets underway, we at Maps and other Northwest credit unions share a few ways you can protect your credit and debit cards.

For instance, at the cash register:

  • Use an EMV-chipped card if you have one They provide an extra layer of security when you buy in stores.
  • Make sure you have signed your credit and debit cards.
  • Make sure you don’t write your PIN on the card.
  • Rest your fingers on other keys while typing in your PIN. This could foil thieves using infrared cameras to steal the ‘heat signature’ you leave behind each time you touch a key.
  • When entering your PIN, block the keypad from anyone else’s view.
  • Make sure the card you get back after paying your bill belongs to you.
  • Take your receipt with you; never leave it at the checkout counter.
  • Put your receipts in your wallet, not your shopping bags. Thieves have been known to steal bags, then use receipts inside the bags to return merchandise for cash.
  • Sign up to be electronically notified when your card is used to make a payment or purchase.
  • Don’t store your payment information.
  • Monitor your transactions daily.
  • Keep a list of your card account numbers and phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.

We also recommend you take these precautions when shopping online:

  • Shop only on sites that have https:// in the URL, next to an icon of a lock.
  • Do not shop online while using public wireless networks.
  • Type a merchant’s address directly into your browser; avoid links.
  • Create passwords with at least eight characters.
  • Keep antivirus and security software updated.

If you suspect your account has been compromised, contact us right away.