Re-Gifting as a Growing Identity Theft Threat During the Holidays

regifting

It is believed that as many as 83% of people think re-gifting is an acceptable practice, particularly during the holidays. However, hidden dangers exist especially when some gifts are re-gifted several times over in the same holiday season.

 


 

 
Where can re-gifting lead to trouble? The following 8 ways leave consumers vulnerable to ID Theft outside of credit card or online transactions during the holidays:

 

  • Computers: Digital and financial information left on the computer’s hard drive.
  • Smartphones: Digital and financial information left on an old phone, or apps that were not deleted properly; Even factory resets have been known to leave data on an old smartphone.
  • Tablets: Digital and financial information left on an old phone, or apps that were not deleted properly.
  • Clothes: Credit cards or other personal information cards unknowingly left in the pockets of clothes given as a gift or donated.
  • Furniture: Credit cards, bank statements or other personal information unknowingly left in the drawers of desks or other furniture given as a gift or donated.
  • Purses or wallets: Women and men believe they’re doing the right thing in donating purses and forget to completely clean out their personal items.
  • Gaming Consoles: Re-gifted gaming consoles can sometimes store Netflix or other personal data, without a person remembering to wipe clean.
  • Office Parties: It is believed that 40% of office party gifts are re-gifted; Some of these gifts may also include an old financial footprint that could then be re-gifted again or donated.

Identity theft has received a lot of awareness in the news media over the last few years, especially around the holidays. However, someone’s digital and personal footprint can still be acquired any number of ways outside the cash register or Internet shopping cart.

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Safe Christmas Shopping: Preventing Holiday Identity Theft

 

santa id theftIt’s that time of the year and holiday cheer is all around us and winter is in the air. While we all spend the season with family and friends the, thought of financial and personal safety have taken a backseat on what’s important. We seem to have a sort of blindness to things that can be bad and detrimental to us all.

 

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and around the world and if you think you’re safe from these crimes think again. Even large companies with intricate security networks are vulnerable, remember Target? Your identity has several vulnerability points that can be penetrated, medical records, DMV records, credit and social security as well.

 

With the rising threat of criminal activity on the rise here are 3 tips on how you can avoid identity theft while on holiday:

 

1. Practice Safe Online Shttps securehopping

Remember to never give out your personal information to an unsolicited email, only shop at trusted and known online stores that you trust. It can be tempting to shop at a new online store to get the holiday bargains. However, if you are not familiar with an online store and you cannot find reliable sources that have done business with this online retailer, then you are better off looking elsewhere. Make sure that the checkout area is secure by locating the closed and locked padlock on your web browser’s window frame. This will help to ensure that your identity is safe from identity thieves due to the encrypted security of the page.

 

Do not shop on a public computer or public wireless network. You cannot verify the security of a public computer or Wi-Fi network. Some may be infected with spyware that records each keystroke entered. So, even if you are using your own laptop on an unsecured public network, you could be giving ID thieves your credit card information.

 

2. Safeguard Your Credit Card & Debit atm skimmerCard Information

This holiday season, whenever you can, shop with cash to reduce the chances of identity theft. If you need to shop with a credit/debit card, only use ATMs you trust. Many identity thieves install card skimmers on ATMs in high-traffic areas to swipe your debit card information. Skimmers are virtually undetectable to the naked eye, so you won’t know you’re a victim of identity theft until you see the fraudulent charges on your statement-and by then it may be too late to recover the charges.

 

Remember that debit cards need daily monitoring. Ideally, you want to use ATMs in bank lobbies or other secure locations with video surveillance. Also, any time you use your ATM card (either to withdrawal cash or to make a purchase) shield your PIN number and card number from others.

 

3. Be Aware of Pick Pockets

Pick pockets are out in full force during the holiday shopping season. Gentlemen, put your wallet in your front pocket and ladies, carry a small purse close to your body (or avoid bringing one altogether). Keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times. A stealthy thief only needs a second to brush up against you and disappear into the crowd with your credit cards and IDs. Do not let your guard down: Identity thieves come in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone doesn’t fit your idea of what an ID thief may look like, don’t assume your information is safe.

pick pocket

Don’t become another identity theft victim this holiday shopping season. Be alert and be smart. Take a few extra precautions, shop safely, and enjoy the holiday season!

 


 

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New Insider Club – Special Deals & Promotions Available

Special Announcement - New Insider Club

 

insider-clubProtect Your Bubble has just launched our new Insider Club that gives you access to exclusive promotions, discounts, and coupons! Currently we are offering a special 15% off discount on Identity Theft Protection to Insiders.

 

The Insider Club also allows you access to save quotes and access them at a later date – talk about super convenient. Click here now to sign up for special offers on already affordable protection plans.

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How Secure Is Your Identity? ID Theft [Infographic]

Security breaches have become a common occurrence in today’s society and cases of identity fraud have become too prevalent. From big retailer security breaches (Home Depot, Target, etc) to ATM card skimmers, scammers have adapted to modern technology to obtain and exploit your personal information.  The infographic below breaks down common security breaches and identity theft data so you can stay informed and safe.

 

Identity Theft 2014 Infographic

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10 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling Abroad

travel-id-theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and thieves are smart enough to use many advanced tactics to steal personal data and money by taking advantage of your carelessness while traveling abroad. As a traveler, you’re usually more focused on having fun, but it’s important that you know the different, unsuspecting ways that you can become a victim and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

 

Here are some simple but very helpful steps to follow on how to avoid becoming an ID theft victim while traveling abroad:

 

  • 1. Keep your personal data updated and secured in a protected cloud service such as Snap Secure.

snap secure

  • 2. Use credit cards and traveler’s checks and try to avoid using debit cards. Keep credit card numbers and traveler’s check numbers in a safe place.
  • 3. Never give out personal information on the phone.
  • 4. Keep track of bank and credit card statements. If you’re not receiving them on a monthly basis or you see charges that shouldn’t be there, contact them immediately and request prompt action.
  • 5. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Put your wallet in your front pocket or use a money pouch. If you must use a purse, carry it close to your body, holding the top closed and keep it on the front of your body.

pickpocket

  • 6. Use secure wireless networks. The free Wi-Fi networks at cafes, hotel lobbies, and other public places are notoriously unsecured because they do not have the data-encryption protections that closed networks have.
  • 7. Be smart and protect your phone with a home-screen-locking password. We often store a lot of data on our smartphones: text messages with personal information, emails, photos, and important travel information such as boarding passes and itineraries.

home screen lock

  • 8. Use cash more frequently. When traveling, always keep cash and cards on hand. Use credit cards at airports, major chains, and shops that clearly use secure payment systems. Again, avoid using your debit card if you can.
  • 9. While abroad, don’t use your passport as your primary identification. Lock up your passport in the hotel room safe and use a driver’s license or an international ID for places of admission.

Hotel-Safe

  • 10. Avoid being pickpocketed by being aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketers usually work in teams of 2′s or 3′s. One of them will bump into you or drop something in front of you or make a loud noise or do anything to cause a distraction. Once you have been distracted, the other pickpocketer will steal your valuables and walk away nonchalantly.

 

If somebody does manage to steal your identity, then you need to find out about it in the earliest stages possible so you can take immediate action before things get completely out of control. Keep in mind that there are many more preventive measures, these are just some of the most common and important tips you can apply to successfully prevent identity theft from happening to you.  To completely protect yourself from any ID theft mishaps, identity theft protection is always available.

 

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