The holiday season is a time when people are more vulnerable to identity theft scams. Not only are people making more purchases than any other time of year, but they are often distracted when doing so. During the holiday season, stores and shopping malls are bustling with people – especially at peak shopping times during evenings and weekends. When shoppers are focused on their gift lists, looking for bargains, or tending to the kids, attention might not be on security.
When shopping online, it might be tempting to shop using mobile devices in public settings. That might open up risk in terms of online security. With rapidly rising prices and higher cost of interest, many analysts see that people are looking for bargains to help reign in holiday spending. When people are focused on bargains, they might be tempted to log onto less than trustworthy websites.
Below are some tips to protect your identity during the holiday season.
Carry Only What You Need
Some of us have a tendency to carry all of our credit cards in our purses or wallets. This might seem convenient, but it is the perfect set up for identity theft. Keep the number of items you carry to a bare minimum. Use the rule of three: one credit card, your driver’s license or identity card, and your debit card. Never carry your social security card or any information that may have your social security number on it with you unless you will need it.
Take Precautions Online
There is a relatively new form of identity theft on the rise called formjacking. Formjacking involves cybercriminals hijacking credit card information from online forms. Making purchases, paying bills, and filing taxes online is commonplace today, so be cautious when making online purchases or responding to emails from unknown parties. Here are a few other steps you can take to boost your privacy:
- Keep your software up-to-date.
- Never install unidentified software.
- Download only from trusted sites.
- Always use up-to-date anti-spyware and anti-virus software, and run weekly scans.
- Use firewalls on your network.
- Regularly update passwords/passphrases, and make each one unique and challenging to crack.
Take Swift Action When Documents Go Missing
If you notice that important financial items or documents such as credit/debit cards or drivers licenses have gone missing, act fast and contact every organization or creditor that issued them. It's important to take these important action steps if you feel your identity has been compromised.
Identity theft is a serious crime. It can be a time-consuming and costly process that seriously affects your life, so stay vigilant and follow these tips so you can help protect yourself and enjoy a safer and more secure holiday season.
Interested in learning more? Visit your SmartLab to stay on top of your financial education!
*Logix has partnered with GreenPath Financial Wellness to give members access to additional financial wellness content, including this blog article. Views and opinions expressed in the financial wellness content are those of GreenPath and may not always represent the views and opinions of Logix Federal Credit Union. Logix Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with GreenPath, and is a separate entity.
Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit www.lfcu.com if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account.
Logix is Federally Insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender.