Seven Safety Ideas for Holiday Security
Keep the Grinch away this Christmas by reducing your risk for identity theft.
by Mary Wimmer, Communications Coordinator
The most wonderful time of the year can sometimes be the riskiest when it comes to identity theft. As it turns out, the spirit of giving can be a boon for burglars when shoppers don’t have personal security at the top of their minds. But these safety tips from CAA partner Equifax (the credit reporting agency) can help keep the Grinch from ruining your holiday season:
- Avoid sharing personal information with unfamiliar holiday charity campaigns.
Unless you are already familiar with a charity, or have taken the time to verify their legitimacy, this is an easy way for scammers to collect your personal information and money. Be wary of unsolicited phone calls and emails.
- Be selective about the ATMs that you use.
Every now and then you’ll hear a story in the news about credit card “skimmers.” These are devices that fit onto ATMs or similar machines that collect information. One way to avoid these scams is to use ATMs in bank lobbies or those that have video surveillance. If an ATM doesn’t quite look right, you may want to avoid it entirely.
- Don’t share holiday travel plans on social media.
Sometimes it’s difficult to contain excitement about holiday trips, home or away. But it is always wise to make sure your travel plans are revealed only to those you trust.
- Keep an eye on your credit report.
It never hurts to check up on your credit report, especially during or following a busy purchasing time like the holidays. The more you know about your credit history, the better.
- Shred unnecessary receipts.
Receipts tend to collect in your wallet, purse and shopping bags, and sometimes the information on them can be quite revealing. Get into the habit of shredding your receipts, along with any other junk mail or documents
- Pay attention to data breach announcements.
If you hear of a data breach that could impact your personal information, take action as soon as possible. Contact your bank to notify them of a potential data breach and ask for their direction on appropriate actions to take.
- Consider using identity theft protection products.
Having identity theft protection is always a great way to help protect your identity and keep track of your personal and financial information. Make sure you have all of your identity theft protection features activated, so your product is doing the best detect-and-alert work it possibly can.
Your nearest CAA Travel Store also carries the Swiss Gear RFID Blocking Wallet. It’s made with a special lining that acts as a protective shield to prevent any duplication of identity and credit card information from skimming machines.
Reduce the risk of identity theft with these safety tips and products, and you are well on your way to having a Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays – and happy holiday shopping!
(Equifax is a registered trademark of Equifax Canada Co. used here under license. The preceding is for informational purposes only and may not prevent fraud and or identity theft from occurring.)