It’s no surprise that shopping increases during the holiday season. But you may be surprised to hear that you’re more susceptible to identity theft during the holidays. Whether you’re battling store lines or shopping from your laptop in the comfort of your home, take note of these tips for a more secure holiday shopping experience.
- Before heading to the mall, clean out your purse or wallet to ensure you’re only carrying items you absolutely need. If you’re not planning on writing a check, leave your checkbook at home. As always, avoid carrying your Social Security number with you.
- At checkout, only share information that is absolutely required. If you do provide your information, ask how it will be used or stored for future purchases.
- Keep an eye on your belongings, and never leave personal items unattended.
- Use secure, reputable sites for shopping. If you don’t see HTTPS and the green padlock icon in the address bar, avoid entering financial details.
- Look out for phishing scams around this time. Never click on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of “too good to be true” deals. Fraudsters will be looking to take advantage of shoppers.
- Use strong, cryptic passwords for your online shopping accounts, and avoid reusing passwords across multiple accounts.
While it’s impossible to avoid identity fraud altogether, you can help secure your personal and financial information by staying cyber-aware and following these simply security best practices.