During the holidays we’re often excited about the season, buying gifts, and spending time with family. But don’t let this sentimental time of year make you forget to be smart about securing your identity when shopping.
Here are some simple things you can do to keep your identity safe this holiday season.
Limit the Number of Cards You Carry
Before leaving the house for a shopping trip, remove any unnecessary credit or debit cards from your wallet. Ideally, you should only carry one or two types of plastic around with you.
In the event your wallet or purse is stolen, you’ll only have to call the card companies to cancel and reissue those cards. Instead of having to deal with fraudulent purchases and cancellations for every card you own.
Keep Your Wallet Close
It doesn’t matter if you carry a purse or wallet, you always want to keep these items close to your chest. Wear cross-body purses that make it difficult for snatchers to grab it off your shoulder and run. Put your wallet or checkbook in your inside coat pocket or in the front pocket of your jeans.
Beware of your surroundings and make sure your wallet is as close to your person as possible. This will limit any potential for thieves to bump up against you in a crowded mall and steal your financial belongings.
Don’t Leave Belongings Unattended
Don’t leave your purse sitting in a shopping cart. Don’t place your credit card on the counter. Make sure you don’t leave any belongings unattended, or turn your back for any reason.
Even if it’s just for a second, a thief can easily swipe both of these items when you’re not looking.
Remove Vital Personal Information
There are some items that just shouldn’t be carried around with you on a regular basis, as they invite thieves to steal your identity. Before heading out on your shopping trip, remove these vital pieces of financial information and keep them at home.
- Social Security number. Your Social Security card is one of the most important pieces of paper you own and should be guarded very closely. Take it out of your wallet before shopping so no can get access to it.
- Receipts. Many receipts don’t show the entire credit or debit card number, but the last four digits are all some hackers need to make unauthorized purchases. Clean out any receipts in your wallet, store them in a safe place, or shred them.
- Insurance information. Remove your health insurance card and car insurance information and put them in a safe place. You don’t need these items while shopping, and they’re too sensitive to have lying around if your belongings are stolen.
Use these tips to keep your identity safe when shopping during the holidays and you’ll reduce the risk of dealing with any financial emergencies. And, for best in class protection against America’s fastest growing crime – identity theft – check out Quizzle Pro+, which allows you to feel at ease and live freely knowing your identity and credit are protected.