As the holidays roll in and we get festive with friends and family it’s important to not let our personal security slip. From traveling to shopping online, identity theft runs rampant around the holiday season, which is why it’s important to make sure you have security at the top of your wish list.
These five tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season:
Cover Up Your PIN
One common way thieves gain access to your bank account is simply by watching you enter in your PIN and either stealing or copying your card. Make sure you’re covering the keypad with your hand whenever you enter in a PIN to minimize risk and protect your savings.
Check that URL
Hackers use a lot of tricks to steal our personal information online, and one way they do it is by sending us to fake shopping sites. You might be all ready to purchase some presents for your friends or family but check the URL twice before entering in your card information. Never input personal data on a website that doesn’t start with HTTPS, and make sure the full URL is the site you actually mean to shop on. Don’t get fooled by www.amaz0n.com.
Keep Track of Your Wallet
Whether you’re traveling or shopping in a busy store, would-be thieves are always on the lookout for someone not paying attention to their wallet. This doesn’t just give them access to your credit and debit cards, it also gives them your ID – a sure fire way to have your identity stolen. Make sure you always keep a watchful eye on your wallet, especially if you’re traveling with your passport.
Stick to Credit, Rather than Debit
Whether thieves are using card skimmers or hacking POS terminals, having your credit or debit card compromised is a sure way to ruin the holidays. Compared to most banks, credit card companies make it much easier to recover stolen funds and lock down your account if you are compromised, however, making it a smart move to do all your holiday shopping on credit cards, rather than debit cards.
Keep an Eye on your Credit Statement
All the same, to better avoid disaster you should keep a close eye on your card statements as well. Check them every few days to make sure you don’t miss any fraudulent activity and report it immediately if you do. You may even want to consider freezing your credit over the holiday season to make sure identity thieves can’t take out new cards or loans in your name.