Protecting your info while holiday shopping

22News is working for you with ways to protect your information this holiday season

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been just about a year since the massive Target data breach that exposed the personal and financial information of millions of customers.

Since then, Neiman Marcus, Michael’s, Home Depot and KMart have suffered similar hack attacks, and those are just some of the major retailers. Many consumers are now thinking ahead to safe spending this holiday season, like avoiding malicious clone sites.

“I only go to the websites I want to shop on. I don’t just click on something I think I want to shop on. You have to keep track of all that stuff. When I get the statement I check over every charge I made,” said Amy LaValley from Westfield.

Before you log off and head to the mall, empty your wallet or purse of any cards or personal information you don’t need. The less you carry, the less you have to lose.

If possible, use a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping in stores or online. You can dispute fraudulent charges with your credit card company, but if hackers get your debit info they then have access to your bank account.

Or, pay with cash. Not only will it prevent your information from being stored.. it also can keep you more accountable.

“Yeah I don’t like cards. They bother me. They get me into trouble and I spend too much money. If I have cash on me I know how much money to spend. If I have a card I’ll just spend and spend and spend,” said Taylor Spear from Feeding Hills.

When you go to re-fill your wallet, use ATMs in bank lobbies or secure locations with video surveillance. Free-standing ATMs are more susceptible to skimmer devices, which thieves use to store your information.

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