Shopping is at its peak during the holiday season– and so is the rate of identity theft through credit card use. Fraudsters find ways to steal credentials and compromise your identity regardless of where you shop: online, in-store, or on your cell. But we don’t say this to make you lose hope; instead to give you hope that you have just as many ways to protect your identity, and get all that holiday shopping done! Here’s what you can do:
- First and foremost, setting your wallet or purse down for just a moment is just too much temptation for these fraudsters. And as obvious as this seems, a surprisingly low percentage (73%) of shoppers say they’ll leave their wallet or purse unattended, in a vehicle or on a counter. Physically protecting your credentials is step one.
- Keep the contents of your wallet to a minimum; bring only the cards you intend to use, and if you won’t be writing checks, leave the checkbook at home. This way, if you do find your wallet gone, you’ve already minimized the damage.
- When shopping in-store, go old fashioned, and just pay with cash. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid identity theft while shopping. Leave no trace of your identity to be stolen!
- If you do pay with card, use a credit card if possible; debit cards don’t offer the same level of fraud protection, and your debit account can be cleared out by thieves. If using debit, always cover the keypad as you punch in your pin.
- When shopping online, logout of websites after payment. Join the 67% of online shoppers who report that they check that they are on a secure website, with HTTPS in the URL, and a lock icon on the address bar.
- Avoid using a public WiFi network to shop online. It can probably wait until you’re at home with your own secure WiFi.
You’re already six steps closer to a identity-theft-free holiday season! Have further questions or looking to have a conversation about how to best insure your property and home? Call BMR Insurance at 714-838-1911, we’re happy to chat and offer you a free quote.
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