Protect Yourself From Identity Theft This Holiday Season

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft This Holiday Season

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft This Holiday Season

Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing the malls, internet, and other shopping centers are packed with shoppers.  While the holiday shopping season may be busy for you, it can be even busier for identity thieves.  Whether you are shopping at brick-and-mortar stores or doing your holiday shopping online, it is important that shoppers take measures to ensure their identity is protected.

In a recent PriceGrabber survey, 89 percent of consumers indicated they would do at least some of their holiday shopping online and nearly 37 percent will participate in Cyber Monday online sales.  The continued rise in online shopping proves that shoppers are enjoying the convenience of point and click shopping, however, while doing so there are a few things you should do to ensure your safety when using your credit or debit card for online purchases.

Capital One has offered the following suggestions to make sure you have a worry-free and pleasant online shopping experience.

  • Always purchase from secure online sites – When asked to provide payment information you should look at the URL address and ensure it begins with https or shttp.  The presence of either indicates that you are paying through a security-protected portal.
  • Know who you are purchasing from – Do your best to only purchase from vendors that are part of a voluntary seal-of-approval program such as TRUSTe, VeriSign, or BBBonline.
  • Beware of social media – While social media is a great way to keep up with the latest deals, it can also lead to damaging computer infections or data theft.  Be particularly wary of emails and messages you receive from people you do not know and offers from programs you did not sign up for.
  • Keep your information on lockdown – Never provide account information or your social security number through email or instant messenger.  “Phishing” scams such as these will attempt to get your personal information that cyber criminals can then use to steal your identity and run up fraudulent charges.
  • Use a secure computer – Your best bet is to make online purchases from your own personal internet capable device.  Avoid making purchases using public computers, however, if it is unavoidable ensure that you completely log out of any websites and never save your login information on a public computer.

These are just a few of the ways you can ensure a theft free holiday shopping season.  Use common sense and good judgment when making purchases this holiday season and you can enjoy a safe and effortless shopping experience.


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