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November 28, 2017

Shop securely this holiday season

Tips for preventing fraud and identity theft this holiday season.

While this time of year is supposed to be about warmth and giving, it’s also high season for fraud and identity theft. By making just a few simple adjustments, you can take measures to protect yourself against the thieves on Santa’s naughty list.

In-Store Shopping

  1. Only bring the debit and credit cards you need with you. Leave the rest at home.
  2. Don’t keep sensitive information with you. That includes your car, wallet, or purse. If you must have personally identifying documents in your car, keep them out of sight.
  3. Shred paperwork you don’t need. Invest in a paper shredder, and be sure to shred any sensitive information.

Online shopping

  1. Use only credible sites when shopping online. If a site seems fishy, it probably is.
  2. Invest in anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Be sure to keep it current.
  3. Conduct your online shopping at home or another secure location, not using public Wi-Fi.
  4. Change your passwords and PINs often.
  5. Save email confirmations from your online orders. If one appears you don’t recognize, or if the site promises one that you never receive, that’s a red flag.
  6. Track your packages. And, do your best to ensure that they don’t sit on your doorstep for longer than necessary to prevent thieves from stealing personal information from your packing slips.
  7. Get educated. Learn the various ways that your security can be compromised. Visit our Fraud & Security page to learn about farcing, phising, vishing, pharming and more.

Of course, no matter how you shop, it’s always a good idea to check your accounts regularly and report any suspicious activity immediately. Remember these tips and you—not a thief—will be enjoying your holiday shopping efforts.