Safety Tips for Shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is on the horizon, the official shopping season for Christmas in in full swing!  Whether you are heading to the mall or your window shopping online, it’s important that you avoid any speed bumps along the way.

“Significant spending over such a small period of time can increase the opportunities for identity theft and identity fraud,” said Mike Prusinski, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications with LifeLock. “Simply being a smart shopper doesn’t necessarily ensure you have done enough to reduce all the risks surrounding identity theft this holiday season. Sometimes drastic times calls for drastic measures, and this season maybe it’s the right time to go beyond the normal tips and suggestions.”

According to the National Retail Federation, 212 million US consumers spent an estimated $45 billion over the Black Friday weekend last year.  Also, the trend for shopping on Cyber Monday has increased dramatically over the past 5 years and surpassed the 1 billion dollars in spending mark in 2010!

Tips

Credit – One Size Fits All – Cancel your debit card and use only a credit card or a gift card. If you’re the target of an identity thief, you’re not losing your money but the lenders. If you don’t have a credit card, consider purchasing a pre-paid credit card to limit the amount lost if you are victimized. Don’t give the criminals direct access to your funds.

Smarter Savings –Don’t open store credit, even if they are offering you 20% savings. By opening store credit you are creating more opportunities for your personal information to be exposed and/or lost and chances are good that you can find a similar discount code just with a few clicks online.

What’s Your Frequency?- If your card has the volume symbol on the front or back, your card is emitting a signal just looking to connect (radio frequency identification) to a card reader– and a thief knows this. RFID credit cards reduce the need for the consumer to scan their card, instead the card just connects. Identity thieves are creating devices to electronically pickpocket you if you’re carrying and RFID card in your purse or wallet. Call your lender and request a credit card without the RFID chip.

Swipe in Style – Don’t swipe your credit card at the checkout, instead, hand it over to the cashier to run through on the register. Identity thieves are compromising point of sale terminals and capturing your personal information.

Wi-Fi Worries – When browsing online, avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi networks and shared computers. You cannot guarantee the security of the computer and you are placing your personal information at risk whenever you use a public or community computer to make a purchase online.

Thanks to my Lifelock membership, I feel secure this holiday shopping season and I hope you will too!

I am a Lifelock Blog Ambassador and I’m being compensated for this post, all personal opinions are my own and are not influenced by compensation.

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