Protect Your Financial Information While Holiday Shopping

28 Dec

Holiday shopping season is also the time when scammers and thieves are most active. Trying to steal people identities and their credit card information. And now using a stolen credit card is easier than ever because with the new chip readers many clerks never handle the credit card at all. They never check for ID or check the name on the card. Anyone can put a card with a chip into the chip reader and use it even if it’s not their card. So if you’re going to be using a debit card or credit card to do a lot of your holiday shopping this year. Here are a few ways that you can keep your information safe and avoid getting scammed:

Avoid Free Wifi

It can be easy and convenient to tap into a store’s free wifi to check your credit card balance or your bank balance. But don’t do it. Those networks are not secure and your information can be easily stolen because there is nothing to prevent people from stealing your card information. If you need to check your balances use your cell phone and call the bank that issued the card or use your data plan on your phone to check. Always avoid using free wifi in a store or coffee shop unless you have no other choice. And if you have to use to make sure that you are doing as much as you can to keep your information private.

Set Up Balance Alerts

Almost every credit card now offers some type of balance alert where the company will send an automatic text. Whenever a purchase is made with your card or with your bank account. That way you will know immediately if someone tries to use your card.  You can review the purchase in real time. If you get an alert for a purchase that you didn’t make a call the bank freeze the card immediately before any more damage can be done. That way you won’t have to fight charges that you didn’t make later on.

Lock Down Your Social Media

When thieves get your credit card or bank info they are halfway to stealing your identity. Because they can access your name and address. So if you have personal information that is public on your social media profiles. They can get the rest of the information that they need to totally steal your identity. Many people have their parents and other relatives tagged as relatives on social media sites. If you have left your friends to list public anyone can see the names of your relatives. Which will make it easy for them to steal your identity. Double check your privacy controls on Facebook and other social media accounts. To make sure that nothing is public information that could be used to steal your identity or steal your money. It’s a good idea to check your privacy settings every few months. To make sure they are all still the way that you want them.

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