Credit bureau Equifax is offering tips to protect your identity as we head into the holiday season.
This year’s busy holiday shopping season entails a lot of credit and debit card swipes, vacations and generally frantic activity. It’s a perfect time for identity thieves to flourish.
So, right on the heels of National Cyber Security Awareness month, Equifax put together the following tips for keeping your identity secure – during the holidays and all year long:
- At school, visit the IT department to ensure that your campus Internet is secure.
- At work, when filling out forms that require your personal information try to submit the sensitive information handwritten through priority mail, instead of online.
- Keep birth certificates, Social Security cards, and other personal documents in a lockbox in your home.
- When disposing of documents, use a diagonal shredder.
- Take outgoing bills, government forms, or tax forms directly to the post office.
- Refrain from putting your driver’s license number on your personal checks.
- Consider writing just your first initial and last name on checks.
- Always shred credit card receipts at home.
- Install anti-virus software, anti-malware software, and a firewall on your computer and keep the programs up to date.
- Use unique passwords that are different for each website.
- Refrain from including your birth-date or other sensitive information on your social media accounts, even just the month and day.
- Consider a credit monitoring and identity theft protection product.
These are great tips. We would add that it’s important to change your passwords often – particularly following times when you’ve been swiping in strange places (such as shopping malls).
Stay safe this holiday season, so you can enjoy peace of mind all year.