Cyber Monday is coming up and in the past we’ve given you tips on how to ensure that your purchases don’t backfire and some general data security tips. This year we wanted to take a different approach, Identity Theft Safeguarding. Identity thieves see easy targets when it comes to holiday deal seekers. We wanted to let you know what types of behaviors to avoid that could raise your risk of identity theft over this holiday season.
In 2017 alone, 14.2 million credit card numbers were exposed and 158 million Social Security Numbers were exposed. If those numbers aren’t staggering enough, most victims of Identity Theft, don’t even know they are victims for 3 months or more! That’s plenty of time for thieves to use your information for things like fraudulent purchases or credit lines.
Here are a few behaviors to avoid this holiday season to help prevent identity theft:
- Using Insecure Websites
Be sure that you 100% trust any website that you are shopping on. A good way to tell if a website offers a safe shopping experience is if the web address starts with “https” and not just “http”. This lets you know that any communication between your browser and the website are encrypted.
- Putting Personal Information on Social Media
We know that you aren’t going to put your Social Security Number on your Facebook page, but, what you may not be thinking much about is posting holiday pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words and some of those words may be things that you use for security questions. Pet names, family member names, even things like property that you own in the home can set you up to be a target.
- Using Weak Passwords
If you’re creating new accounts on shopping sites, be sure to use a strong password that you are not using on any other website. Password Genie can help!
- Not Having Malware Protection Installed
Phishing scams are always an issue, but during the holiday season, when you are distracted, you may be tricked with emails that look legitimate. Be especially careful when buying or selling from 3rd party sites like eBay or Amazon. Make sure that the seller has a good reputation on the site. Having a malware protection solution in place is very important, just in case you do click on one of these emails.
Have fun this Cyber Monday and hopefully you snag some awesome deals. If you take just a few precautions, there’s a good chance your identity will remain your own!