We’ve talked a lot this year about ways of protecting your data and staying safe online. This is even more important now as we enter the holidays, but this extends beyond just online. Here are some tips to help keep you safe during the shopping season.
- Beware of skimmers – Skimmers are a device that thieves attach to card readers that are designed to steal your info. They look like the original card reader, but are slightly larger so they can be placed over it. You’ll be able to complete the transaction as normal, however, in the process, the skimmer is recording your data. These can be on ATMs, gas pumps and even in your chain stores. Before swiping, give a small tug on the card swiper. They are not usually on securely.
- Beware of spy cameras – To go along with our first tip, especially at the ATM, cover up the keypad when typing in your PIN. In this day-and-age, cameras have gotten smaller and more affordable and can be placed almost anywhere and not be easily discovered.
- Review, review, review – Take advantage of the fact most financial institutes allow you to see your account ledger on a daily basis. You no longer confined to that monthly statement to review for unknown charges. You’ll want to review small chargers carefully because some thieves will only just steal small amounts at a time but they can add up over the course of the card’s life.
- Beware the “porch pirate” – Porch pirate is a term that has cropped up with the increase of people making online purchases. Porch pirates are thieves who will drive through neighborhoods looking for packages delivered on people front porches, and then, steal them. It’s not always convenient to wait around for your packages but you can invest in a delivery locker or locate a business that can accept packages for you and either can be picked up or delivered at a time that is convenient for you.
- Sometimes paper isn’t better – You may get tempted to open a retail credit card during the holidays but those paper applications can pose a problem. Nothing is more unsecure then a piece a paper that has all your personal details. All that data can be stolen with a quick picture from a phone! Opt to apply online through a secure site.
- Shred it – Of course, we are going to remind you to shred. We suggest being very diligent this time of year and make sure you shred everything that may have your SSN, birthdate, address, or account numbers. This includes credit card applications, account statements, bills, unused checks, pay stubs. We can scan all of this information for you and store them securely then destroy the paper versions. Contact us to find out how we can help.
Read more info on protecting your identity on our website.