The holidays are here! The biggest shopping season of the year. It also happens to be the biggest time for data breaches. This holiday shopping season marks the one year anniversary of Target’s data breach where up to 110 million people had their personal information stolen. To date, there are no arrests in that case.
A recent study from Experian reveals that of those planning to shop online this holiday season, nearly 40 percent still do not check to see if the site is secure. In store, only 41 percent of shoppers cover the PIN pad at the register when entering information available to anyone peering over the shopper’s shoulder.
Today’s cyber-thieves are sophisticated and extremely efficient at breaking into retailers’ networks to steal consumer data. The holidays mark a potentially substantial payday for cyber criminals. Don’t fall victim! Here are some things you can do this holiday season to protect yourself against a data breach while enjoying the holiday spirit and shopping season.
TIps to Protect Yourself from Data Breaches This Holiday Season
- Pay in cash
- Use prepaid cards
- Avoid debit cards (use of pin and direct link to bank account)
- Remove excess credit cards or check books from your wallet or purse
- Never carry your Social Security card with you
- Never shop using public WiFi
- Secure all your accounts using strong passwords that contain lower & upper case letters, numbers and a symbol
- Use encrypted websites such as those that begin with “https”
- Carefully review credit card and bank statements
- Ask your bank to set up fraud alerts on your accounts
- Ask your bank for a credit card with EMV chip technology (most are going to this technology but have not yet adopted it)
- Update your computer operating system.
Happy holidays and shop safely!