Though it’s hard to believe, it’s almost that time of year for Thanksgiving sales, and before you know it, it’ll be Black Friday and time for holiday shopping. It’s important to be on top of your credit and debit card statements year-round, but gearing up for the holidays is an opportune time to review how to protect yourself from identity theft or credit card fraud while shopping.
These days, shopping on line is the norm. Who doesn’t love the convenience of shopping from home and having your purchases delivered right to your doorstep? There are a great deal of security risks that come with any online transaction though. Keep these tips in mind as we gear up for the busiest time of year:
- Make sure you’re on a secure Wi-Fi connection before entering your credit card information online. Public Wi-Fi can be easily accessed by hackers who can then get a hold of your card number.
- Use different, difficult to crack passwords for all your accounts, and never save your credit card information. While it may be easier for you to just remember one password for all platforms and to store your credit card on websites you frequently visit, it will also be easier for anyone looking to steal your information.
- Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for any suspicious activity. If you notice anything that does not seem right to you, report it and freeze your accounts immediately.
- Remember that no legitimate company will ever reach out to you and ask for your information. The act of sending fraudulent emails asking for things such as your social security number or credit card information is known as phishing. Avoid clicking links in any emails that you don’t trust.
- Use your credit card to pay for online purchases rather than your debit card. If any information is stolen, better it be your credit card than access to your bank account.
Homeowners or renter’s insurance can include coverage for identity theft, or it may have to be added as an endorsement. Before this crazy time of year kicks off, give your agent a call to discuss what identity theft protection is right for you. Happy shopping!