Protecting your Personal Identification, Through the Holidays and More

id theft

Paige Hanson, the Chief of Identity Education from Lifelock, offers these tips to help you keep your identity, as well as your bank accounts as safe as possible during the hectic holiday season.

  • Only use EMV or chip-enabled cards. These cards should help lower credit card fraud, but only if you use the chip technology. When at the point of sale terminal, do not bypass this step and resort to the old habit of swiping the card. 
  • The days of shoulder surfing has evolved. Look out for people trying to take photos or videos of you entering passcodes or your PIN (personal identification number).
  • If using a mobile device for online shopping, keep your software up to date. This will help guarantee that the most recent security issues will have been addressed. 
  • Smartphones store a lot of personal information; make sure to set a passcode on your phone
  • Update your passwords! Only 25 percent of smartphone owners change their passwords periodically. Ensure your password is at least 8 characters; include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. 
  • Pay close attention to your financial accounts and immediately report any issues to your card issuer.
  • Consider a credit card rather than a debit card. The most you'll have to pay for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50, even if you report the fraudulent use later than you would like.
  • Think twice about opening a new account to capitalize on store holiday discounts. You may be sharing personal information with seasonal employees, some of whom do not undergo as rigorous of a background check. Also, keep in mind that opening a card for a short amount of time, then closing it, can have a negative impact on your credit score.