With the start of the New Year, a question you need to ask yourself is are you looking after your sensitive information adequately? As you get back into a normal work schedule, it’s more critical than ever to secure your money and of course your identity. Unfortunately, this is the peak time when it comes to thieves. These individuals are basically prowling for your digits as you carry out your online purchases, or while you are connected to your bank app through your local Wi-Fi.
The New Year brings substantial distractions and people will take advantage of this. At PROSHRED Minnesota, we urge you to be on guard more than ever.
Data breaches continue to occur and be a part of our lives, but the positive news is that you can take some key preventative steps in protecting yourself. If you’re still making those last-minute purchases like many of us are, here are some simple methods to keep in mind for securing your information. Review these before you make your next transaction online or at the store!
Only do business with secure websites that are marked secure with a padlock symbol or an address that begins with “HTTPS.” If you come across a smaller website and aren’t sure whether it is considered secure, confirm it with the Better Business Bureau.
If you keep your credit card information stored on any website, be sure to select a strong and difficult-to-detect password that is only for that website only.
If you’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar area, the safest option is using cash at the checkout counter; having said that, the majority of shoppers don’t want to risk dropping or losing their bills. If you prefer the convenience of plastic, opt for using credit cards over debit cards, as these are a safer bet. If your credit card information happens to be stolen or compromised, your liability is reduced dramatically, whereas a debit card thief could potentially empty your bank account before you even take notice. Furthermore, credit card companies are known for providing protection against damaged, stolen, or lost cards.
Reduce your social media sharing and be careful with what information you expose. Keep in mind that the security questions on financial accounts typically go hand in hand with the information we share on social media, such as your date of birth, anniversaries, mothers’ maiden names, and so forth. It is highly recommended that you increase your privacy settings on Facebook and other accounts as well as change your passwords so they are more challenging to guess.
Once you’ve completed your holiday shopping, take the time to carefully review all of your credit card statements as soon as you receive them, to ensure there are no strange transactions that are unfamiliar. If you detect any discrepancies, be sure to get in touch with your issuer to report them immediately.
Lastly, if you are concerned that your personal information has been exposed, or you’ve fallen victim to identity theft, proceed to the FTC website for simple instructions on what you need to do to look after yourself.
If you have any questions in regards to how our document shredding services can protect you, we offer a variety of shredding solutions that are convenient and assist in protecting your security.