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Be Sure to Protect Your Wallet & Identity Over the Holidays

The holiday season is here! With all the hustle and bustle of shopping, holiday parties and gift exchanges, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and we don’t blame you! One thing that is vital to remember during all of this, however, is that there is an increased risk of identity theft and theft in general around this time.

Thieves are fully aware of the fact that throughout the holiday season, shoppers are out in the highest numbers of the year making more purchases than ever, some potentially high ticketed items on top of this! It is essentially a gold mine for thieves if shoppers aren’t careful.  for Due to the significant volume of shopping that takes place, there are more opportunities for thieves to enter your vacant home; stealing gifts, credit cards, wallets, you name it. Whatever juicy material they can get their hands on, this is the time it is likely to happen over any other time of the year.

Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can reduce the risk of an identity theft, or common theft, from ruining your holiday celebrations:

  • Think through the situation with your spare key. Thieves know where these are commonly hidden. With that said, think of it from their perspective and hide your spare key in a spot that isn’t easy to access or guess. Avoid hiding your key under the doormat or flower pot, as these spots are quick to discover.
  • Always know exactly where your wallet and purse are. Shopping malls are extremely hectic this time of year and long lineups mixed with large crowds can cause distraction you normally wouldn’t be faced with. With distraction comes silly mistakes like leaving your wallet at the cash, or dropping your purse and forgetting what store it is in. Pick pocketing is elevated this time of year; don’t fall victim.
  • Keep your receipts somewhere safe until you are ready to dispose of them securely, through shredding. Never rid of receipts in the recycling or garbage prior to destroying them first. Why? Receipts carry vital personal information that can provide someone with the details needed to carry out a crime or compromise your credit card.
  • Use your credit card whenever possible.  If you use cheques and debit cards instead, your bank account is exposed which could lead to trouble. If you happen to use your card in a fraudulent machine, it may be a challenging process to get your money back. Credit cards, on the other hand, won’t withdraw funds from your bank account, and there’s no risk they will expose your bank account details either. You might also have more time to catch fraudulent transactions with credit cards as opposed to debit/cheques.
  • After the holidays, be sure to regularly review your statements when they come in through the mail or online. Because on average consumers shop more frequently during the holidays, your statements will be extra lengthy. Don’t let fraudulent transactions slip through the cracks because it is too much information to sort through. Take the time to pay close attention to these details, even if it seems unnecessary.
  • Take extra caution when shopping online. Be sure to check the website’s reputation and security credentials. And lastly; if you see a deal that is too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is!

Don’t fall victim to identity theft; take extra steps to remain secure and safe throughout the holiday season. Nobody wants to be a victim of theft, especially over the holiday season when it should be a joyous and happy time!

From the entire A1 DATASHRED team, we wish you a wonderful and happy Holiday Season and best wishes for the New Year ahead!

December 5, 2018