It has been noticed that the cases of identity thefts increase in the holiday season, when people tend to shop more online and are more casual about their transactions. As a smart customer, you need to be a step ahead of cyber criminals, and a few steps can go a long way in that direction. Here are the five best ways to avoid identity theft during the holidays, with a few words on identity theft protection.
Change the passwords
Database breaches aren’t rare, and therefore, one should be extra careful with the transactions made on popular and frequented websites. Before you travel, change the passwords of all shopping sites, and it is best to choose a unique and strong password for each. Ensure that you use a mix of numbers, symbols and alphabets to create strong passwords. As for banks and other sites, all passwords should be changed after 120 days at the minimum.
Choose a single card
Most working individuals have a set of debit and credit cards, which are often used intermittently. Make sure that you use a single card for all the transactions, so that monitoring the details is easy. This will also help you in keeping a check on the savings and expenses, as people do get overboard with the offers and discounts.
Beware of email offers
A number of email offers land in the inbox on a daily basis, but only a few of them are genuine. Keep an eye on the source of the email, so that you can avoid the phishing sites. There are many websites that just try to get personal information of the customers posing as legit sites, and these are the ones that you need to be careful about.
Keep an eye on statements
No matter what card you use or the bank account you use for transaction, it is best to keep an eye on the statements. During the holiday times, make sure that you check the statements at least once in a week. This will help in identifying all kinds of doubtful transactions, which may need immediate action.
Finally, you may consider identity theft protection services, which are great ways to deal with online ID thefts. These services don’t protect the details, but will keep a close eye and monitor all financials, credit report and other personal information. Even getting an alert at the right time can avoid a major mishap.
October 24, 2014