Thanksgiving will be here next week (it’s not like you could forget – the Black Friday commercials and ads are everywhere!). Folks across the nation are getting excited to go “get their shop on”. They are mapping out their course, making lists and cutting coupons to score the most stuff at the lowest price. I personally am not a Black Friday shopper. I really do not like crowds, and I definitely do not like getting up at o’dark thirty either. I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of gal (surprise, surprise!).
No matter which of these days you prefer for holiday shopping, they both carry the risk of having your identity and personal information stolen. Online shopping is risky because in the rush of getting a good deal online, people maybe not be as diligent as they normally are about checking to make sure that the website they are shopping on is secure. Most of the bigger retailers are secure, but be very careful if you follow an ad, for instance, that takes you to a shopping site that you are unfamiliar with. always look for the little gold padlock, and an https:// at the beginning of the web address.
Identity Theft can of course happen if you are physically out shopping, and shoppers are especially vulnerable during the holiday season. Not only do you have to be careful when making purchases as the cash register, but also when you are walking around amongst the crowds. People get distracted and thieves can snatch your purse when you aren’t paying attention.
When you are at the cash register, make sure you cover the PIN pad when entering your number, and pay attention to the folks around you. Unfortunately with the fancy smart phones we have these days, anyone can take a photo or the credit card you are using, or a video of you typing in the PIN number. When you are sidetracked while looking for coupons, tending to the kids, etc., it is the perfect opportunity for someone to steal your information, and do a little shopping of their own – on YOUR dime.
It is always a good idea to pay with cash when you can, and a second choice would be a credit card, as these are usually protected by the bank. It is not always easy to recoup your money if someone makes charges with your debit card.
Another thing you can do before Black Friday arrives is sign up for LifeLock. I am so impressed with how they are keeping an eye on my info, and I do feel safe this holiday season. There is a certain peace of mind when they are looking out for unusual activity. The sign-up process is super easy, and there are two plans to choose from.
Don’t forget to enter the LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes – they have some fantastic prizes and really helpful tips!
Date: November 23rd, 3:00 pm PST (6:00 p.m. EST)
Hashtag: #LifeLock @LifeLock
RSVP for the LifeLock Black Friday Twitter Party here!
*As part of the LifeLock Ambassador program, I will be compensated for this post.