Keeping your finances secure during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can quickly turn into the most terrible time of the year if someone gains access to your bank account or debit card information. Unfortunately, as shopping increases during the holidays so does fraud and it is important to be aware of the warning signs.

Hancock County Savings Bank’s Security Officers Marian Edgell Vice President BSA-OFAC-AML/Privacy and Jered Gamble IT Manager/ISO offer some tips for you to follow during this time of year. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, so it is crucial that you pause and keep the following guidelines in mind.

When you are shopping online make sure that you are confident in the source. If the website’s URL address begins with “https” this means it is a secure site; however, if the site begins with only “http” and is missing the “s” then it is unsecured and a warning sign.

Also, be careful of emails offering deals and coupons. Clicking on links through emails can be dangerous and can give scammers access to your computer, especially if the email came from a store or person you are not familiar with.

Another tip to keep in mind is to research charities before you donate. It’s the time of year for giving and donating to charities increases during the holidays. Sadly, fraudsters will set up phony charities and take advantage of the innocent who are simply wishing to help those in need.

For those looking for an extra layer of protection, our Card Valet app is available to all customers and is a wonderful source. Simply download the app for free and it will help you monitor the transactions that occur on your debit card. It also gives you the ability to turn your card off should you notice anything suspicious.

If you are unsure of a scenario or feel uneasy, then it is best to listen to your instincts or simply call one of our customer service representatives. We are happy to help and are here to walk you through any dilemma you might be facing no matter what time of year.