The holidays may look a little different this year, but personal and identity theft safety should not. Here are some helpful tips for you to keep in mind (and put into practice) to keep you and your personal information safe during this holiday season:
• Shop with trusted retailers you’ve used previously
• Make sure the retailer’s webpage is secure by looking for the “lock” icon and their URL beginning with “https” (not “http”)
• Do not use public Wi-Fi or a VPN to make purchases – these are easy access routes for your personal and financial data to be skimmed
• If you’ve made purchases online, make sure to watch for their delivery and take packages inside.
• Keep your wallet or purse to the front of you or in a front pant/coat pocket, if possible
• Take only one credit card with you, save your receipts, and monitor your credit card activity
• Use RFID protected wallets, purses, or credit card sleeves to keep others from skimming your credit card information.
• Be patient when looking for or backing out of a parking space - watch for people walking or kids running
• Park in a well-lit area. Be aware of your surroundings, and look around and under your car before approaching it.
• Store all of your purchases in your car’s trunk, out of plain sight, or drop off purchases at home between traveling from one store to another…and always, always lock your car!
• Be cautious of holiday email scams. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
• Do not use links provided in a holiday deal email. Instead, go directly to the vendor’s website to verify their sale
• Don’t open any emails from an unnamed recipient (like a holiday e-card), or participate in holiday surveys promising gift cards or cash. These are most likely phishing scams to steal your personal/financial information.