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Are You Making These Holiday Shopping Mistakes?

Holiday Shopping Mistakes

Are You Making These Holiday Shopping Mistakes?

The holiday season is in full swing.  It is time to decorate your tree and break out some holiday tunes.  If you have not already, it is also the time to begin your holiday shopping!  Want to make sure your personal information stays secure while you do your holiday shopping this year?  Follow these easy tips from American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin!

At The Store:

Major retailers have had their data breached over the past few years. While shopping in person may help to keep our personal information safe, that might not always be the case.  Consider these important factors while shopping in stores this holiday season:

  • When using debit at the cash register, try to conceal your PIN number from those around you.  There are a variety of other ways your PIN number can be stolen other than someone watching as you type it.  This includes a heat signature that is left on the keypads for about 15 minutes after use.  Infrared cameras can be used to measure the heat signature and has the ability to obtain your PIN.  While this may sound far fetched, infrared cameras can be easily purchased and even attached to smart phones.  To try and avoid this, rest your fingers on other numbers while entering your PIN in.
  • Instead of running your card as debit, select credit.  This will help to protect you and your bank account in the event of a data breach.
  • While in line, keep your card put away until you reach the register.   Once you have paid, promptly return it to your wallet.  This will ensure that nobody can read or take a photo of your card.

Online: 

Online shipping has become a staple in most people’s lives, because who doesn’t love being able to shop in their pajamas at home?!  There is no denying that online shopping is convenient and enjoyable, but it can lead to your personal information becoming vulnerable.  Follow these tips before you make your next online purchase:

  • Whenever you make a purchase online, make sure that you are on a secure WiFi network.  Public or unsecured networks are the ideal place for hackers to steal your personal information.
  • Make sure the website is secure.  If a website is secure a padlock symbol will appear in the address bar before the URL.  This means the website is safe to use.
  • We all have our favorite stores that we order things from often, but it is not wise to save your credit card information on their websites.  If the website is ever breached, so is your saved credit card information.
  • If you have a debit card linked directly to your checking or savings account, try and avoid using it while making purchases online.  Using a credit card helps to keep your personal bank information secure.

We all wish that hackers took a holiday, but sadly, they do not.  Follow these easy tips to keep your personal information safe while doing your holiday shopping season!  Want extra protection for your identity?  Contact the insurance professionals of American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin today to discuss adding ID theft to your homeowners insurance!


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