The Christmas holiday is right around the corner and soon many of us will be shopping to find that perfect gift for family and friends. Paying with a credit card is often the safest form of payment, however it’s important to be cautious. Whether you’re shopping in person or online, here are a few tips to prevent credit card fraud this holiday season. 
 
Alerts
Sign up for alerts with your credit card company and be the first to know when a purchase has been made using your credit card. If it’s an unauthorized purchase, contact customer service immediately.
 
Don't shop on public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks might not be secure so avoid making purchases while you're away from home.
 
Consider using "virtual cards"
Some credit card company offer "virtual card numbers" that link to your account. These are randomly generated numbers that provide protection for your real credit card number.
 
Strengthen your passwords
Take a minute to update your passwords to strengthen your account security before the holidays. Create unique passwords for all your accounts using numbers, letters and symbols, which is much harder to hack.
 
Monitor your account activity
It’s a good practice to review your purchases online or in the mobile app, but plan to do it more frequently during this busy shopping season. If you notice something inaccurate or unauthorized, contact customer service immediately.
 
Keep contact information updated
If you have a new cell phone number or changed your address, be sure share this information with your credit card provider. In the case of suspected fraud, they will be able to contact you quickly.
 
The risk of falling victim to identity theft and fraud increases during the holiday season. As you work your way down your shopping list, use the precautions listed above to avoid credit card fraud. These tips will maximize your security and ensure a stress-free holiday season.