The holidays are definitely upon us now. Before you venture out into the crazy world of holiday shopping, take a look at these tips to protect your wallet and help prevent fraud, whether online or in-store:

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When shopping online, the most important thing to do is trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling about a website, don’t give them any personal information. Look out for red flags like asking for too much personal information, outdated web design, strange web address, or lots of pop up ads. Though it can be hard to pass up a good deal, you’ll thank yourself later when your credit card information is safe.

Check out with a Secure Payment Method

Look for websites that take secure payment methods like PayPal and credit cards. These businesses offer better buyer protection in the case of a dispute so you won’t be held liable for any fraudulent charges. You should also look for security labels like VeriSign, DigiCert, and other well-known seals. Be skeptical of any app or site that only accepts payment via wire transfer, money order, or check.

Inspect the URL

Ideally, you should only visit secure websites. Look at URL for the acronym HTTPS. The “S” means the website is secure, as opposed to other URLs that begin with HTTP. These sites encrypt the information sent through them so it can only be seen by the intended recipient. If you’re shopping at an HTTP site, be careful of what information you share with them.

Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

Free public Wi-Fi may seem like a godsend, but, by using it, you may be opening yourself up to cyber attacks. Oftentimes, Wi-Fi hotspots don’t encrypt your data, so any hacker with the right software can steal your banking information and identity. While on public Wi-Fi, don’t do anything that requires you to enter personal information like shopping.

Check Your Receipts and Banking Statements

When shopping in-store, be sure that receipts reflect the correct transaction amount before signing. And no matter what kind of shopping you’re doing, always check your credit card and bank statements regularly to scan for fraudulent charges. Though financial institutions do a pretty good job of catching fraud, some transactions can slip through the cracks. Keep your eye out for purchases you didn’t make or receive.

Enjoy your holiday shopping and don’t forget to stick to your budget!