Don’t Let the Grinch…Steal Your Identity

Ahhh…the Holidays.  The most wonderful time of the year.  That’s why it feels like especially cruel timing for us to share that identity theft is most likely to happen during the holidays (thank you, online shopping).  When you’re surfing the web for the best deals you can find, keep these tips in mind:

  • First and foremost, use passwords and lock your devices when not in use.  Also, making sure your security software is up to date before you sail in to the sales might be a good idea, too.
  • Shopping online, especially using unsecured connections (think coffee shop wifi) can expose you. Find a secure wifi network (at home, preferably) to knock out your cyber deals.
  • Regardless, when you do shop online, stick with credit cards. You are liable for only up to $50 of fraudulent use.  Financial loss with a stolen debit card could be much higher.
  • Use secure domains (that are signified by “https” in the web address), and take the time to come up with unique, hard-to-guess passwords that do not repeat from site to site.
  • When you’ve completed your online purchase, clear your cookies and browser history.  Not only will this prevent your kids and/or relatives from accidentally stumbling on your shopping history, it will also log you out of any shopping sites you may have used.

In time, implementing these easy tips to protect yourself just might become the easiest thing you do during the holiday season.