The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off. Here are our top tips to protect your identity when holiday shopping.
The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off. Whether you like to wait until the last-minute to tackle your gift list or if you’ll be grazing the stores and doing some online shopping over the next few weeks, it’s important to keep security in mind.
Fraudsters are out in full force this time of year so protecting your personal information is critical. While you can’t stop all hacking attempts, you can take steps to be proactive and avoid potential scams or security issues this holiday season.
Here are our top tips to protect your identity when holiday shopping.
Charitable Cause Fraud
It’s terrible to think that taking advantage of those who want to be giving during the holiday season is something that happens, but it unfortunately does. Always be cautious about emails you receive from charities. It is much too easy for a scammer to recreate a legitimate logo or even spoof their email address to appear to be from a recognized sender. A good rule of thumb is to always hover over links and email address to reveal the actual source it’s pointing to – or better, go to the website for the charity yourself by typing it into the browser and make sure the connection you submit your donation over is secure.
Whether you’re shopping online or prefer to visit brick and mortar stores to purchase items, it’s important to know the risks. Using debit cards that are linked to your bank account is the least favorable option. When possible use cash, a credit card that has buyer protection services or a service like PayPal to protect your personal information. Retailers are huge targets for crime this time of year so the best way to keep yourself from falling victim is to think of a plan in advance.
Monitor and Protect Your Data
One of the best defenses you can take to protect your financial data is to remove, shred and properly dispose of any information you’ve printed, received on a receipt or entered online. Many websites will store your payment data, be sure to always double-check and remove it. While convenient for future purchases, the risk is high. Don’t toss the paper receipt that came with package shipments to your home. They may include personal information that makes you a target for identity theft.
Legal Shred offers regular and one-time services for residential customers and can safely and securely shred your documents. Wrap up this holiday season with peace of mind!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- ICYMI: The Holiday Shopping Protection Guide
- Cyber Monday Security Tips
- Top Holiday Scams and What You Can Do to Stay Safe