Protect Your Credit While Shopping for the Holidays

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Protect Your Credit While Shopping for the Holidays

With all the modern ways of doing holiday shopping, it’s easy to overlook some simple safe practices to ensure that you don’t become a victim of fraud.
Here’s how to protect your sensitive payment information and credit from abuse during the holiday season:

  1. Narrow Down Your Forms of Payment

    If you have dozens of cards to choose from, it could become difficult to stay on top of all of them.  For organizational and safety purposes, narrow the cards down to one or two.  Not only will it make it easier to keep track of all your spending, but if your accounts were compromised, the damage will be limited to only one or two cards. Those cards with the chip readers or EMV chips are a good choice as this new technology upgrade helps fight counterfeit card fraud and reduces the chances that your payment information getting exposed in a data breach. EMV Chip reading cards has reduced credit card fraud as much as 58%, so when visiting brick and mortar establishments, these types of cards are your best option.

  2. Save All of Your Receipts- Both Paper and Digital

    Get yourself in the habit of becoming conscience of  your receipts after making a purchase and where you are storing them.  We are so used to crumbling them up and throwing them away throughout the year so it could become very possible that your mind may slip up during holiday shopping.  For extra brownie points, pull up all of your holiday shopping receipts and compare them to your online statements and keep an eye out for any odd charges.  This could be a sign of credit card fraud.  When malicious hackers get into your accounts, they are not running up thousand dollar items.  This would be too easy for you to spot.  Since they are hitting up thousands of accounts at a time, they are usually small increments from your account like $5.13 for example- something very difficult for your eyes to pick up.

  3. Save All of Your Receipts- Both Paper and Digital

    Get yourself in the habit of becoming conscience of  your receipts after making a purchase and where you are storing them.  We are so used to crumbling them up and throwing them away throughout the year so it could become very possible that your mind may slip up during holiday shopping.  For extra brownie points, pull up all of your holiday shopping receipts and compare them to your online statements and keep an eye out for any odd charges.  This could be a sign of credit card fraud.  When malicious hackers get into your accounts, they are not running up thousand dollar items.  This would be too easy for you to spot.  Since they are hitting up thousands of accounts at a time, they are usually small increments from your account like $5.13 for example- something very difficult for your eyes to pick up.

  4. Switch on Credit Account Activity Alerts

    Nowadays, most credit cards offer what’s known as “automatic transaction alerts.”  These alerts are activated from visiting your accounts online and have a wide array of options in order for them to not become a nuisance. For instance, set your alerts only when a purchase exceeds $100.  The alerts could either be emailed to you or texted to your phone.  But if you are really concerned with your credit safety then you could set the alerts for every single purchase just to make sure it was you who made them.

  5. Go Ahead and Update All Your Passwords

    You may not have total control over what happens with your personal and payment information once it’s in the hands of retailers, but you can help secure your accounts by using strong passwords and changing them routinely.

    The standard wisdom on how to create passwords has changed. Account passwords don’t need to be overly complicated with a series of numbers, letters and symbols. Instead, use phrases that are long, personal and easy to remember.

    “What’s the title of your favorite book? And what year did you first read it?” Or you could take the title of your favorite song and make that your password. It’s a big, long password that’s tough to guess.”

  6. Check Out Your Credit Report Before and After

    You may take time off work during the holidays, but identity thieves don’t. The best way to make sure your credit is safe is to check your credit reports.  Regular credit monitoring is imperative year-round. That said, fraudsters may be more likely to strike during the holiday season when consumer spending is high, so vigilance is especially important from November to January.  Consumers are entitled to one free credit report each year from each major credit bureau via AnnualCreditReport.com, or can get a free credit report and score from CreditCards.com. Monitor your statements and credit report now, while you shop, but also into the new year. Report suspicious activity right away.

Have another tip?  Be sure to let us know about it in the comment section.  In the meantime, if you are in need of legal help, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines and set up a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys.

By | 2017-11-29T11:43:39+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Categories: Legal News, Safety|0 Comments

About the Author:

Ish Laos is a guest blogger and long time team member of the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines. He has dedicated himself to research the most trending topics happening in our country and report them back to the Hines Law community. Ish is the founder of webstuffguy.com, a website design and internet marketing company.

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