'Tis the Season for Safe Holiday Shopping

Smart Solutions • November 2014

In this issue of Smart Solutions, we explain the latest precautions to take whether you're shopping in store, online or via your smartphone, plus how to get peace of mind with helpful identity theft tools. Finally, we offer some tips to keep your holiday budget on track.

And remember — CommerceBank.com is always standing by to help you with your financial questions and banking needs. Happy holidays!

Tips for Safe Holiday Shopping No Matter Where You Are

The last thing you want to worry about during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is having your banking or credit card information compromised. Whether you're shopping online, purchasing in the store or paying by phone, these simple strategies can help you keep your holiday shopping as safe as possible.

1. Mind Your Machines
Update all of the devices you use for shopping. Whether it's your laptop, tablet or smartphone, issued updates for your security software and operating system will include patches for potential security threats. So install them regularly.

Avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots for transactions. Never share personal or financial information over an unsecured network. You'll know it's secure if you need a password for access. In general, it's safer to use direct (wired) web access instead of an unsecured wireless network. And while at home, it's a good idea to change the default Wi-Fi password that comes with your router right away, and keep changing it periodically going forward.

Make sure the website is encrypted. No matter what device you're using to shop with, check to see that the URL begins with "shttp" or "https" and has a closed padlock icon. This indicates the site has added security.
2. Think Like a Criminal
Know where you're shopping. Check out new companies, especially the ones your find online, before you purchase from them. Read online reviews and do a simple Internet search to find out if they're legitimate. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Protect your personal information. Before sharing any personal or financial information, be sure you understand how the information will be used. Ask about the store's privacy policy — or check it online.
3. Stay Organized
Clean up your email inbox. The upswing in emails this time of year increases the likelihood that you'll click on a scam. If you're at all unsure about the source, delete the message or mark it as junk mail.

With so many options, from brick-and-mortar shops to online retailers, shopping these days is more convenient than ever. And with a little attention to detail, it can be safe, too.

Interested in learning more?


  1. Source: "Why You Should Change Default Wi-Fi Passwords," Bradley Mitchell, About.com, accessed October 29, 2014
  2. Source:- "Top Tips for Safe Online Holiday Shopping," National Cyber Security Alliance, accessed October 10, 2014
  3. Source:- "Safety First Holiday Safety Tips for Last Minute Shoppers," National Crime Prevention Council, accessed October 10, 2014
  4. Source:- "10 Holiday Shopping Tips," by Janet Bodnar, Kiplinger's, November 2008, accessed October 10, 2014
  • To send an email that contains confidential information, please visit the Secure Message Center where there are additional instructions about whether to use Secure Email or Online Banking messaging.