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Five Ways to Keep the Grinch Out of Your Cybershopping: Tips from U.S. Bank Security Coach Jason Witty

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 27, 2015-- The thrill and chaos of holiday shopping is upon the American public, and unfortunately with that comes the inherent risk of cyber fraud. U.S. Bank is offering tips for online purchasing that help shoppers see visions of sugarplums, and not sour apples.

Historically, Americans spend billions of dollars over the last two months of the year. On Cyber Monday alone, as many as 183.8 million people will shop online, according to the National Retail Federation. With an increased threat of digital fraud, what can consumers do to secure their personal data?

“It’s important to remember the critical role consumers play when it comes to protecting their personal information and data; they can’t rely on businesses and retailers alone,” said Jason Witty, Chief Information Security Officer at U.S. Bank. “Holiday shopping is fun, but it’s important to always remember the risks involved and take proper precautions.”

Witty is part of the U.S. Bank Coaches Program, which is a team of experts offering practical insights and advice on relevant and important financial topics. Witty has provided five tips for protecting personal information while shopping online during the holiday season:

1. Beware of the Grinch Lurking in Your Inbox: It's always safer to manually type in the website of the company you are looking to make a purchase from than click on a link from an email. Criminals often times create "fake" advertisements looking to fool the average holiday shopper – if it came in an email and it's too good to believe, it's probably a scam.

2. Spend the Holidays with Those You Trust: There are a lot of websites out there. Do you know the company you are about to buy from? Did their website just pop up on the internet this week? It's always a good idea to know who you are giving your payment or personal information to. Generally speaking, if you have never heard of a company, it's a bit of a gamble to give them your information.

3. New Technology isn’t Just for Under the Tree: New technologies like ApplePay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay utilize a system called "tokenization." This allows you to pay using a secure "token" that is tied to your credit or debit card (and device), but is not the actual credit or debit card number. If you don't have the ability to use one of these newer technologies, try to pay using one of the newer "chip" cards that also provide much more security than the traditional magnetic stripe on the back of your card.

4. The More the Merrier: If you have more than one credit card, you can manage your "hassle risk" much more effectively if you use one card to put into websites that will store that information (e.g. your gas/energy company, your phone company, a major online retailer you use frequently) and a totally different card that you use for holiday purchases.

5. Keep an Eye on Your Christmas List: Consumers are the first line of defense. Check your accounts online regularly (maybe even daily) to be sure there are no lumps of coal.

About U.S. Bank

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $416 billion in assets as of September 30, 2015, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The Company operates 3,151 banking offices in 25 states and 5,001 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

Source: U.S. Bancorp

Dana Ripley
U.S. Bank Corporate Communications
Twitter: @usbank_news

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Bancorp's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

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