Protecting Yourself from Identity Thieves During the Holiday Season

Whether someone makes off with your wallet or your personal information is compromised online, identity theft is no small hassle. Identity theft affected more than 13.1 million people in 2015.

While you’re online shopping, it’s worth taking a few extra steps to keep your information safe.     

Add more protection. If your information is compromised on one site, the last thing you want is to offer easy access to other accounts. Set up stricter passwords and don’t reuse the same password on your shopping and banking accounts. A password manager can keep your details organized and secure. If your credit card information is stored onsite, take advantage of stricter access controls so no one gets in without a special code that’s texted right to your phone.

Phishing scams. We all love getting that email from our favorite retailer with an offer we can’t refuse, especially during the holiday season. But beware, those phishing scam artists know this is a prime time to trick customers into divulging financial details so they can go on a spending spree on your dime. When you get a doorbuster deal via email, never click on the links; instead, go directly to the retailer’s site using your browser.

Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi networks. Sure, it’s convenient to multi-task at the coffee shop or while your kids splash away at the community center pool. But a public Wi-Fi network can make it easy for hackers to view your online activity. Save the financial stuff for your password-protected network at home.  

Review your purchases. During the holidays, it’s always smart to log in and review your most recent purchases. If you spot any fraudulent activity, notify your bank or credit card company immediately. As long as you report the fraud in a timely manner, you should be financially protected. It’s also smart to review your credit reports right after the holiday season.   

Look into identity theft insurance. When you’re a victim of identity theft, the process of recovery can take months or even years. Contact your Erie Insurance agent to talk about what identity theft recovery coverage* can do for you. For an affordable annual fee, it can be added to your renters or homeowners insurance. If the worst happens, you’ll be assigned to an experienced caseworker who can help you untangle the mess, reach out to the right agencies and help restore your credit.  

Up next, ways to prevent package theft.

*Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Co., Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Co., Flagship City Insurance Co. and Erie Family Life Insurance Co. (Erie, PA) or Erie Insurance Co. of New York (Rochester, NY).  Go to erieinsurance.com for company licensure and product details.

Whether someone makes off with your wallet or your personal information is compromised online, identity theft is no small hassle. More than 15.4 million U.S. consumers had $16 billion stolen from them in 2016. Here are tips to keep your information safe during the holidays and year round. /blog/identity-theft-during-the-holidays Erie Insurance