SAFESHRED is observing Identity Theft Protection and Awareness month by posting blog articles to educate the public with tips and advice. Today’s post will get you started thinking about identity theft during the holiday season.
There’s a reason why December is Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month. It’s the perfect time for identity thieves to prey on holiday shoppers. Consumers are making more transactions than any other time of the year. Are you an easy target for the holidays? Ask yourself these simple questions.
1. Do you check your account balances frequently?
Keeping your receipts and checking every item on your account balances will ensure nobody else is using your cards. Also using a credit card is preferable to your debit card, as canceling it will not directly affect your bank account.
2. Do you dispose of confidential documents properly?
If you are throwing those receipts, invoices, and other confidential information in the trash, it’s time put those aside and think about letting a certified document shredding service dispose of those papers properly for you.
3. Are you texting or on your cell phone while you’re checking out at the register?
Stay off your gadgets when checking out at a shop, and keep your eye on your credit cards at all times.
4. Do you check security on eCommerce sites?
Checking the authenticity of security certificates on any website is not something the average user can do. Shopping online with large, well-known websites is safer.
5. Do you keep an eye on your purse or wallet at all times?
When wallets, driver’s licenses, and purses go missing, you can be pretty sure identity fraud will follow.
6. Have you upgraded your home security recently?
Visit this link for some holiday home security tips. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20447437,00.html
If you answered no to any of these questions, you may want to exercise a little more caution. Identity theft is a serious crime that has the potential to put anyone in millions of dollars of debt, and has affected 11.6 Americans in 2011. In order to exercise identity theft prevention, awareness is necessary first. Be aware of identity theft and keep you and your loved ones safe!