Holiday Rush… Brings on Theft

Identity Theft

Prevent identity theft or burglary during the upcoming holiday rush

After the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just two of the days where retailers try to offer super holiday shopping deals. But those days, and the season itself, are a big target for identity theft and burglary. You can protect yourself by employing simple safety practices now and throughout the season.

While some tips may seem obvious, burglars may take advantage of busy shoppers’ stress and distraction through the holidays.

• If you shop online, consider investing in computer security protection software. Also, if you shop routinely with a particular retailer, make sure your account passwords are strong using alpha, numeric, and symbol combinations that don’t include personally-identifiable words.

• Be antisocial. Don’t post the fact that you are away from home or out shopping on your social networks. While you may trust the friends within your network, others’ replies to your posts can be seen by their network, spreading your whereabouts to people you may not know. Encourage your friends to do the same and not post about your whereabouts if they know your plans or happen to be with you.

• Make sure your home and car are locked, and leave valuables out of plain sight. Hiding valuables doesn’t just apply to your vehicle – burglars that can see a desirable item within your home may be on the lookout for you to leave. And locking doesn’t just apply to doors; make sure to lock your windows! If you have shades, draw them. And if you are planning to be away from home after dark, leave a light on in your living and/or front and back areas of your home. You can also install timers for these lights so they turn on at a certain time before nightfall.

• For added protection, you may want to invest in new clever technologies that make it seem like you are home, or your house is secured by an alarm system. These products, while not the real thing, appear real enough that they can deter break-ins. For example, there are products that are lights that look like the flicker of a television or even motion sensors that mimic dogs barking as someone would try to approach a window or open a door. There are also appliances that mimic exterior security cameras.

The keys to making the above steps work are to take the time to employ them. Many people get busy this time of the year and forget to lock their cars or turn the outside lights on. But in the end, taking action can help you avoid the added stress, anxiety and costs of identity theft or burglary during the holidays – or any time of the year.

Source:  State Auto Twitter