identity theft
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Holidays can be very busy and so are identity thieves. And though your mind can be pre-occupied with holiday shopping, you must never be oblivious that anyone may hack your financial accounts as well. So be vigilant and always protect your identity and money. You may be unaware that thieves are already prowling on your digits every time you do online shopping, when you share images on social media or even when you connect your bank account through Wi-Fi connection.

“Holidays are the time of the year when people are distracted so it’s the best time to take advantage of them”, Jason Glassberg; the co-founder of Casaba Security said. He further warned the people to be on guard during these seasons since travel activities and shopping are on their peak at such times of the year.

A survey was conducted on 1,000 individuals by Bankrate and it showed that majority of them fear that they become a victim of identity theft. However, many of them still persist to leave their identities (and money) unprotected. Examples of this behavior include failure to review their free credit report, not shredding financial documents when getting rid of them and using public Wi-Fi connection to access online banking.

The use of identity protection services is now a must. “Before, it used to be hard to check your credit report. Now, you can simply visit places that offer you the information for free. With this, you can check for any unauthorized credit accounts”, Bankrate analyst Mike Cetera said.

Writer Adam Levin warned everyone on his book to beware of unsolicited phone calls and email links. The email can be made to appear like coming from a legitimate source such as a reputable retailer. Once you click the link attached to the email, you will be sending personal information to the fake site, exposing your personal information along the process.

“What they do is send you a promo email and then request for your credit card data. Once you give in to it, they can easily hack your financial information”, wrote Levin. Sometimes it comes like a membership application to a store card where you will be asked personal information including Social Security number.

So, the best way to protect your confidential information is to shop carefully and re-check if you have connected to the right app or website. Know that some websites are cloned. Make sure that a lock symbol is on the site’s URL to validate the security of the site.

“It pays to review your credit card statement frequently and not just wait for your monthly bill”, Levin said. With this, you can detect odd transactions and report them immediately so your bank can shut down access to the card and prevent hackers from stealing more from your account.

Holidays are supposed to be a happy time of the year. But if you fail to protect your identity, the opposite thing may happen.