Sponsored editorial by Heiner’s Insurance
Identity theft is a serious issue in the United States. According to the Bureau of Justice, about 7 percent of persons 16 or older have been victims of identity theft. The majority of these cases, 86 percent, were in relation to credit card or bank account information. Unfortunately, it appears young adults are more prone to identity theft, with 17 percent of millennial women and 38 percent of millennial men falling victim to online or phone fraud.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes increased use of credit cards. As you search for the perfect gift for family and friends, follow these tips to help protect your identity this holiday season.
- Look for the green lock when purchasing on the internet. If you are entering your credit card information on an online merchant’s website, be sure to look in your browser’s URL bar for a lock, which is often green. This is the universal symbol that the website is using a secure method to take your payment information. If you don’t see a lock, you may want to think twice before completing the transaction.
- Use strong passwords. We know it may be easy to put your dog’s name and 123 as your password, but don’t do it! These are extremely easy to figure out and increase the likelihood of you getting hacked. Use strong passwords that are hard to figure out, and don’t use the same password for every site. Mix it up so if a hacker gets one password they don’t get access to everything.
- Be wary of shoulder surfers. Don’t get too paranoid, but be careful at the ATM. If someone is too close behind you, they may be trying to look over your shoulder to see what you are inputting. Also, the same could be true for the person next to you on the subway watching you enter your credit card on your phone to buy your niece’s present.
Don’t let identity theft ruin your holiday spirit. Be cautious of where you are using your credit card and how it is being stored. For more tips on protecting yourself from identity theft this holiday season visit www.usa.gov/identity-theft.