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8 Tips to Avoid Identity Theft This 2015 Holiday Season

8 Tips to Avoid Identity Theft This 2015 Holiday Season safe-online-holiday-shopping

 

The holiday shopping season is an exciting time of year. You get to choose the perfect gifts for your treasured friends and beloved family members. You get to hunt for those great bargains and seek out the best deals as you head out to the mall and scour your favorite stores.

But even though holiday shopping is fun and exciting, it can also be a time of danger for you and your wallet. The holiday shopping season is prime time for identity thieves - the time of year when they pull out all the stops and try to steal your personal information, your good reputation, and your hard-earned money.

The good news is you do not have to change the way you shop or avoid your favorite stores to avoid identity theft. There are some simple things you can do to keep those identity thieves at bay and still score the bargains you need to make it a happy holiday season.

Keep in mind that identity thieves - like all criminals - look for the easy target. Using these tips to make yourself less of a target can keep you safe as the holiday season rolls around.

Santa’s Be Careful List

 1) Always check the security status of the website when shopping online. Look at the web address and make sure it starts with https: to indicate a secure site. Also look for the security lock at the bottom of your Internet browser.

2) Check the terms and conditions before shopping online. Always check the terms and conditions before creating an account or making a purchase. Avoid sites that sell your personal information to other merchants.

3) Keep your receipts in a safe location. While few merchants still print complete credit card numbers on receipts, those slips of paper can contain other information that would be valuable to an identity thief.

4) Shred your credit card statements and other personal documents. Buy yourself a personal shredder this holiday season - and use it to protect yourself from identity thieves.

5) Review your bank statements and credit card bills carefully. Credit card thieves often test the water by making small purchases - hoping those small charges will go unnoticed. Notify the bank immediately if you spot any unfamiliar charges - no matter what the amount.

6) Keep your wallet out of sight - and be careful what you keep in it. Keep your wallet safely in your pocket until you are ready to pay for your purchase. Never keep your Social Security card in your wallet - a lost Social Security card is an open invitation to identity thieves.

7) Watch the swipe pads carefully when making a purchase. Identity thieves sometimes install special card readers inside the swipe machines at gas stations grocery stores and retailers. Notify store management at once if something does not look right - and keep your credit or debit card in your pocket.

8) Avoid using public Wifi – especially at hotels – to make purchases with a credit card. These are hotspots for identity thieves who know how to capture the information you’ve submitted online.

These common sense tips can help keep your identity - and your money - safe this holiday season. No matter how much or how little you have to spend, keeping those identity thieves at bay can help you have a happier - and financially healthier - holiday season.

AT: 12/07/2015 12:43:11 PM   LINK TO THIS NEWSLETTER
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