Don’t Let Identity Theft Ruin Your Holidays

Dec 13, 2012

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credit card and laptopThe holiday season is well underway. It’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities and lose track of time. Often, that means we find the holidays upon us with none of our shopping done. Since stores can be a hassle this time of year, many of us turn to online shopping to save time and energy.

Unfortunately, there are many identity thieves who are anxiously waiting to take advantage of your last-minute dash for gifts.

'According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 7 percent of U.S households, about 8.6 million, had at least one member age 12 or older who was the victim of identity theft in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available. Of those households, 64.1 percent experienced the misuse or attempted misuse of credit card information'. 

Before you go on your cyber-shopping spree, make sure you take precautions to protect your personal data. Don’t put yourself at risk of identity theft just because you’re in a rush. Here are some tips for successful online shopping this holiday season:

  • Be cautious of public hot spots and unsecure Wi-Fi connections.
  • Activate the firewall on your home’s wireless router and change   the router’s default password.
  • Before entering your credit card information online, determine if the website you are on is encrypted. You’ll notice “https” at the beginning of the Web address if it is secure.
  • When creating passwords, don’t use the names of pets or children, birth dates, or other easy-to-guess information. Try a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that only you know.

Happy Shopping!


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