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The holidays can be a hectic time of year. One of the most stressful things is buying presents for all of your loved ones. Have you ever been in a store or online and rushed to checkout so that you can get a great deal. If so, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Even in a situation like this you’ve got to keep a clear mind to protect against identity theft while holiday shopping. Criminals would love to turn your information into a gift (or many) for themselves. The tips below will help you keep your information safe and your holiday season a happy one.

Tips For Safe Holiday Shopping

  • Keep An Eye On Your Financial Statements – During the holidays you are likely to be doing a lot of spending. This can include lots of little transactions that can clutter up your bank statements. Keep track of your transactions and keep an eye out for anything fraudulent or suspicious. The faster you can catch identity theft, the less work it will be to clear things up.
  • Shop Online Via A Secure Network – If your home WiFi is set up properly, you shouldn’t have any worries about shopping online over your network. This isn’t the case with public WiFi. When using public WiFi, many people have access to the same network. This means that any information you send or receive through the internet can be obtained by a savvy thief. You should never shop while using public WiFi.
  • Shop Only On Trusted Websites – In your search for gifts you may come across a crazy deal and want to jump on it as fast as you can. This is understandable, but you must make sure the website you’re purchasing through is legitimate. There are many websites that are set up to accept your payment with no intentions of shipping any product. It is also important to check the security of a website by looking at the URL. Any website with https:// at the beginning is secure. This is an important key to protect against identity theft while holiday shopping.
  • Skip Using Debit – When shopping you should elect to use cash or a credit card instead of a debit card. A credit card offers much greater protection against fraudulent activity as opposed to a debit card. Since money is taken from your account the instant a transaction is made with a debit card, it falling into the wrong hands can be a real problem.
  • Watch Out For Skimmers – Skimmers are devices attached to ATM machines or card readers which are designed to steal your credit card information. We recommend always jiggling the portion of a machine where your card is designed to be inserted. If you have the option to use Apple Pay or another form of card-free payment, this is recommended. Often a skimmer will feel loose and may even detach when jostled a bit. Also, keep your pin code protected from shoppers behind you in line or at the ATM.

The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and giving. Use these tips to protect against identity theft while holiday shopping so that your holiday season is just that.

A Free Guide on How To Secure Your Identity & Protect Your Data