How To: Preventing Identity Theft During The Holidays

Use these tips to help keep your personal information safe this holiday season.

Identity theft can happen to anyone at any point in the year. However, the number of identity theft cases tend to increase during the holiday season since more people are using their debit and credit cards without any extra security. To help reduce your risk of having to deal with identity theft this season, keep these identity theft prevention tips in mind.

  • Never give out your Social Security Number for any unnecessary reasons. Your SSN should only be given out for tax reasons, verified employment, or credit purposes. Before you provide the information to anyone, find out how it will be used and who will have access to it.
  • Shred all documents that have any personal information on them. When writing checks, use a specialized gel pen that cannot be erased.
  • Do not put outgoing mail in your personal mailbox. Instead, take it to the post office or put it in a collection box.
  • Create secure and different passwords for all of your financial accounts. All passwords should be at least 18 characters long and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Only use one credit card to do all of your holiday shopping. It will be much easier to track your purchases and look for any fraudulent purchases if you use the same card all season long.
  • Ensure that all of your firewall and antivirus software is up to date. Having software that is up to date makes it much more difficult for hackers to access your information.
  • Order a copy of your credit report at the end of the season. Look closely at the report and handle any discrepancies as soon as possible.

Protecting your information with the right insurance policies in place will help to make sure that you stay safe throughout the holiday season. Contact the professionals at Thomas Ward Insurance in Chicago, Illinois for all of your insurance coverage needs.