9 Important Tips for Online Banking during Holiday Season
Bells are ringing, it’s snowing outside, the shivers from Halloween barely passed, and it’s already the grandest time of the year already: the holiday season. Everyone’s out shopping for their loved ones, Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday sales, winter sales, you name it! Every brand has all the excuses they need to put out sales for their stock, and buyers aren’t coming in slow either.
The best part about the 21st century is that you don’t even need to leave your house and fight the crowd for that brand new LED TV or that 40% off deal on your bucket list smartphone, it’s all there in the palm of your hand. Internet shopping is a really popular phenomenon all year round, but it’s the holiday season when it reaches a peak too.
So if you’re someone who’s planning on going on a shopping spree online this season, here’s a few tips on online banking during the holiday season to help you get through it.
1- Start With Budgeting
Amidst the bells and the hymns, it’s too easy to get carried away with your expenditures, so easily the most basic but the most important tip would be budgeting. As simple as it seems, overspending is easily one of the more common outcomes of all the lavish sales during this time. So it’s always advisable to make a budget and stick to it.
2- Take A Headstart
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to plan ahead, list down everything you want to buy before the sales even begin, not only will this help you with budgeting but with the second problem as well; being overwhelmed. With all the sales going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused, so it’s always advisable to know what you’re getting and where you’re getting it from.
For the cheaper stuff, it can also be advisable to start shopping ahead of time, so you don’t spend New Year’s Eve with your wallet colder than the snow.
3- Trust The Trustworthy
On the online side of things specifically, the biggest advice we can offer is to only go for sites which you can trust. There are a lot of online sellers and marketing platforms like BestBuy, Walmart, and so on, so you will always have plenty of options. Stick to them. Well known, trademarked, online market leaders like Amazon or Ali Baba should be your go-to over some shady site you found creeping down your emails.
4- Beware Of Fakes
Which brings us to the next advice, HTTP and https are your friends, these little prefixes at the start of the site URL will let you know which sites are good to go and trustworthy. Stay vary of pharming, just cause the site looks like Amazon, doesn’t mean it is. Check the URL. Is there https there? Good, if it isn’t, EVACUATE.
The holiday season means booming business for everyone, hackers included. Most hackers prey on carelessness more than anything. So don’t even think about entering any of your data on a site with a red URL bar.
5- Juggle Those Passwords
During all the shopping chaos, it is also advisable to keep changing your passwords if you’re a frequent customer or subscribe to a password manager app that generates long, random and safe passwords for your accounts. It’s the extra layer of security that never hurts anyone.
6- Don’t Fall Victim To Phishing
Another rule of the thumb to follow is to visit sites directly instead of letting the redirect link in your emails take you there. See an exclusive offer just for you from Walmart? Go to their shopping portal and see if it actually exists or sends them an inquiry for the authenticity before you put your card info on the line.
7- Keep Your Eyes On Your Transaction History
In today’s age, it’s all too easy to manage your finances and keep track of your transactions with the limitless amount of mobile phone apps, and for good. Use them and stay ahead of your spending. Don’t let the bill at the end of the month tell you that you’ll be eating breadcrumbs for the next month. Keep track of all the money you spent and especially the money you didn’t: see a transaction that you didn’t make? Report it as soon as possible and change all your passwords again. The key is to stay vigilant.
8- Saving Comes Before Spending
A minor yet very important thing to keep in mind is to start saving for the season as soon as you put those half sleeve shirts away. No number of sales can make up for lack of money. So be sure to stock up on lots of it beforehand.
9- It’s The Small Things
It’s easy to keep track of a $1500 LED panel. But you’ll also be getting plenty of gift papers, delivery fees and other costs that at a glance can seem negligible, but when you’re buying gifts for a dozen different people. It’s a good idea to keep a margin for the small costs too
At the end of the day, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. We really hope the tips we provided were of help. Happy shopping and happy holidays to you!