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Forget having to manage those tremendous crowds at the mall or the big-box stores. Shopping online for the holidays is easy, convenient and best of all–you can do it in your pajamas. In fact, you might even find some better deals online! As online shopping has become more common, security measures have concurrently improved, and there are now many ways to pay from your desktop or mobile device–each with its own different advantages.
But, First, Make Sure You Create Strong Credentials
Before you fill your virtual shopping cart; it's important to maintain a strong username and password combination on all your online accounts, not just those for banking. When choosing your password, you'll want to use an arrangement of letters (both capital and lower case), numbers and special characters (like "&" or "!"), even if any combination of those isn't required. Also, your unique sign-in credentials for one website shouldn't be used for any other website, and shouldn't be guessed easily–which includes avoiding common dictionary words and personally identifiable information like your name, birth date or email address.
Now that you've got strong credentials, here is a quick overview of common payment methods and their benefits:
Credit Cards Many credit cards, such as those from Navy Federal Credit Union, come with a Zero Liability policy, which means you are protected against fraudulent use of your card and won’t be held responsible for unauthorized purchases made in-store, over the telephone or online, as long as you report the transaction as soon as you discover it. That's a good reminder to read over your credit card statements! Plus, all our credit cards now feature secure chip technology to better protect you against fraud.
Prepaid Cards Prepaid cards are a great option for money management and to help control spending, as they can be loaded with just enough money to cover your purchases and can be used online the same way as credit and debit cards. Navy Federal offers two convenient options: the GO Prepaid Card and the Visa® Buxx Card. Both prepaid cards are reloadable, activity can be tracked online or via the Navy Federal Prepaid card app, and both cards are protected with our Zero Liability policy.
Debit Cards Using debit cards for online purchases is a great way to stay within budget during the holidays because, quite simply, the funds are withdrawn immediately from the cardholder's checking account. Unlike with credit cards, there is no bill to pay each month, so for every time you use your debit card, that's one less purchase to account for later. Navy Federal debit cards are protected from unauthorized purchases with the same Zero Liability policy as our credit and prepaid cards.
Online Banking Many financial institutions, like Navy Federal, offer 24-hour Online Banking access so cardholders can easily track transactions and deposits to their accounts, as well as offering a convenient method to pay bills. Being that it's the holiday season, Online Banking is a great way to keep an eye on how much you're spending and still be sure you're staying in your budget.
Digital Payment Services Online payment solutions, such as Visa® Checkout and MasterPass™, were created to make shopping safer and easier. Each service offers maximum convenienc at checkout, preventing you from having to enter personal and payment details each time. Because shipping and payment preferences are stored, all you need is your account login to pay. They're linked to your debit or credit cards and are protected by multiple layers of security. Navy Federal has the tools to help you make the most of your holiday shopping online, as well as protect your identity and take control of your finances. Navy Federal provides members with Identity Theft Restoration at no cost, as well as discounts on several credit-monitoring products. If you suspect you have fallen victim to identity theft, call Navy Federal at 1-888-842-6328.