4 Ways to Avoid Giving Your Data to Cyber Thieves This Holiday Season

November 22, 2016

4 Ways to Avoid Giving Your Data to Cyber Thieves This Holiday Season

The holiday shopping season is underway. Whether you’re buying online or in a store, your identity could be at risk.

According to a 2016 Identity Fraud Study, fraudsters stole the identities of 13.1 million victims in 2015 and used them to make $15 billion in fraudulent expenditures.  Financial fraud can occur in several ways. A thief can open a new account in the stolen identity and then default on payments or make unauthorized purchases on a victim’s account. While the new chip technology in credit cards make them harder to duplicate, stealing someone’s identity provides a bigger payoff for a thief and is harder to detect.

Here are 4 recommendations for keeping your information safe:

1. Avoid phishing
Beware of opening emails from unknown sources or clicking on links embedded in emails.

2. Beware of card skimming
Thieves can attach a tiny strip of film to a card reader and download the information located inside the card’s magnetic strip to create a duplicate card.

3. Take care while traveling
Lots of people travel during the holiday season. What they may not realize is that their boarding passes contain personal information. Don’t toss yours in the hotel trashcan — take it home and shred it to protect your information.

4. Watch your credit accounts
It’s rare that your information is used immediately, but something could happen six months to a year later, so monitoring is important.



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