Back to School Shopping? Protect Your Identity!

For the best identity theft protection, your back-to-school shopping will require extra diligence.

It’s time to get ready to head back to school, which means parents, students, and teachers are busy hitting the stores, both online and off, for supplies, clothes, and last-minute essentials.

According to Deloitte, 40 percent of parents surveyed by Deloitte said they prefer retailers who also have an option to buy online and pick-up in-store, whereas 30 percent said they do plan to shop online and pick up in-store because it is more convenient. 64 percent will access a retailer from a mobile device, while 60 percent will be using debit cards as a form of payment.

What does this all mean? There is a lot of shopping, which means a lot of exchange of information, which means keeping tabs on your bank statements, credit statements, and your credit cards. Why? Because identity theft is still one of the top crimes in the U.S., and a lot of it stems from data breaches.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, one way to mitigate identity theft is to plan out your purchases. While this information was issued for the busy holiday shopping season, it’s good practice for any season when there is high-volume retail sales. Prior to school shopping, make a list of required items and where you plan to purchase them. Instead of using your debit card, try using a prepaid card so your actual credit cards aren’t compromised. This is also good for sticking to a budget, as you will not be able to overspend.

Scammers will be more active during busy retail seasons, so email traffic confirming online orders and deliveries will exponentially increase. Never give out personal information online unless you initiated contact.

The new EMV chip cards will be used heavily this back to school season. These cards use a personal identification number (PIN) instead of a signature. While these mitigate risk, they are still not fully secure, and can still open the door to online fraud and identity theft.

For the best identity theft protection, your back-to-school shopping will require extra diligence. Remember to check your mail and destroy any documentation offering you a new credit card. Also check your credit and debit card statements in detail, stick to reputable retailers, and don’t give out any personal information.

When you’re ready to destroy old records, contact Legal Shred!

Wishing all the students and their families a safe, successful, and healthy 2016-2017 school year!

Identity Theft Protection

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