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Identity Theft - Stay Safe this Holiday Season

There are several ways your identity, or your personal information, can end up in the wrong hands; from viruses & spyware to card scanners and more, follow these tips and reduce your chances of dealing with an unfortunate case of identity theft over the holiday.

Always use legitimate sites when you shop online.

There are signs that indicate a website is secure like https or a green, padded lock icon to the left of the URL. If a website does not have this, be wary of where you put your username and password.


Be sure that all the emails you receive does not redirect you to an altered, unsecured link especially if it contains a promotional offer. This might be a sign of potential phishing where you could enter personal information, like a credit card or email address/password, which could then be used to compromise your identity or incur charges.


Use a secure network or your phone’s hotspot instead of public wifi.

When shopping online, avoid using a public Wi-Fi connection. Digital personal information that is transmitted over the Internet or stored on your connected devices—such as your driver’s license number, Social Security number, credit card numbers and more—could be vulnerable if your network isn’t secure.  Consider installing and using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. When you connect with public Wi-Fi, a VPN will direct your online activity through a secure, private network.


Don’t share too much online!

Having your address, location, birthday or age and your full name anywhere can allow potential thieves the ability to access or apply for subscription based services, or even spam emails that could contain spyware or phishing links using your own information.


Be wary of skimmers.

Remain on the lookout for devices attached to card readers or ATMs that could steal your financial data. Also watch out for anyone behind you in a checkout line that could be snapping a photo of your credit card number or other personal information.


Stay safe this holiday season and as always, contact Sgro & Roger at 702.384.9800 for a free consultation.