Protect Your Personal Information While Shopping this Holiday Season

Posted  November 26, 2019  by  Shred-it

The holidays are quickly approaching and that means increased time spent shopping online and in malls for the perfect gifts. But whether you choose to do your shopping online this year, in-store or both, it’s more important than ever to protect your information from fraud. This is especially true considering the results of Shred-it’s second annual International Fraud Awareness Week Report which revealed that many people still do not take the proper precautions to protect themselves.
How to Protect Your Information While Holiday Shopping 

To help keep the holidays merry, Shred-it wants to share five ways to protect your data this holiday shopping season:

1. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings 

When shopping in-store, always keep your wallet and ID in a hard-to-reach spot like a pocket inside your coat or purse so they are always protected. For moments when you are using your wallet, watch for visual hackers who look over your shoulder at the check-out and be sure to always protect your PIN number during a transaction. Also, be sure to take your receipt or order document with you after making a purchase to prevent payment and personal information from falling into the wrong hands.   

2. Use Strong Passwords

Ensure the passwords you use to access your online accounts are strong and unique. With so many online shopping options, it is easy to lose track of which password goes with which account. But that does not mean you should neglect your personal security by using weak passwords or reusing passwords on multiple accounts.

3. Avoid Leaving Packages Out After Delivery 

Around the holidays and specifically on Cyber Monday an increasing number of people do their holiday shopping online, which leads to more packages being delivered through the mail. While extremely convenient, it also leaves these packages vulnerable to “Porch Pirates”, or criminals who go around and steal packages from the front porch of houses. Not only do they take the item that was delivered, but they also gain access to shipping and other personal information. To expose yourself to as little risk as possible, minimize the amount of time packages sit on your front step.

4. Dispose of Documents Properly 

No matter what time of the year, you need to make sure you are disposing of your personal documents appropriately. Receipts, credit card statements and mailing labels all contain personal information that can be used by identity thieves. A great way to do this is to employ a Shred-it All policy for securely disposing of paper documents by specifying that all documents are destroyed when they are no longer needed. This avoids any confusion as to what needs to be shredded and what shouldn’t.

5. Don't Overshare

Social media has become ubiquitous in modern day life and we often lose sight of how much personal information we are sharing. Addresses, birth dates, even a parent’s maiden name can often be accessed via your social media profile. With the risk of fraud so high during the holidays, this information is the perfect way to make it easier for a fraudster to gain access to your accounts. As an extra precaution, make sure to never post your full name, date of birth, family information and home address publicly.
Stay Protected this Holiday Season

Make sure your data is secure this holiday season with the help of Shred-it. Learn more about how we can protect your documents and hard drives, by contacting us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.

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