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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Clumsy Santa: Accidents Happen To Santa Too. [Win An iPad Air 2]

clumsy santa banner

The holidays, one of the best times of the year! A time when decorations, lights and Christmas trees are not only found in homes but in town squares and shopping malls all around the world. Though celebrated differently in a variety of cultures, Santa Claus seems to exist almost universally.

 

clumsy santa twitterThis year, Protect Your Bubble introduces Clumsy Santa! You see, Santa Claus, the maker and deliverer of toys and happiness, also happens to be a little “clumsy” when delivering his gifts to the many little girls and boys, and adults too. Accidents happen, even to Santa. However, part of Clumsy Santa’s mission is to help people protect their gifts and everything else that matters to them.

 

Be sure to follow Clumsy Santa on Twitter @ClumsySanta, where he will tell the tale of his sometimes accident-prone mission when making and delivering gifts this holiday season. You might even see a few tweets from Mrs. Claus, the elves, and even Rudolph!

 

The holidays are a time for family and celebration. The last thing anyone wants to do is worry about a broken present, especially if it was what you were hoping for, and oh by the way, this isn’t just about gifts such as smartphones, tablets, electronics, and appliances. Santa needs to protect his workshop and his sleigh from unwanted damage. Of course, Santa keeps a tight schedule when delivering his gifts, so we’ll want to help him stay on schedule and protect against any travel delays along the way.

 

Win an iPad Air 2!

You’re involved in this tale too. Santa has one gift that he’s going to make sure arrives intact. An iPad Air 2. Protect Your Bubble is giving this away in its Clumsy Santa Sweepstakes. Be sure to enter here by January 10, 2015.

 

clumsy santa sweepstakes

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Top Holiday & Christmas Travel Destinations

holiday destinations

For some people, the holiday period during Christmas is a great opportunity to travel to an exotic destination due to the extended break. Those who like to explore cultural diversity, natural wonders, and deep-seated history often use the holiday period to fulfill their dreams abroad and escape cold wintery weather.

 

Here are our top five holiday global destinations where you can enjoy your holiday break.

 

South Africa

south africa

This is a country which is famous for its wildlife. The amazing landscapes in South Africa are not just popular in the country but are famous throughout the world. Cities like Durban, Bloemfontein, and Johannesburg in South Africa are blessed with amazing natural beauty, wonderful landscapes, excellent infrastructure, and fast life. There is much to explore in South Africa and it will surely make your trip memorable.

 

New Zealand

new zealand

This country is famous for its emerald mountains and outstanding caves. Visitors from all over the globe visit New Zealand to explore the crashing caves which are found nowhere else in this world. New Zealand is a perfect holiday destination for the travelers who like exploring adventurous places. This country is also famous for caving, trekking, winter sports, bungee jumping, and glacier hiking. You can imagine yourself trekking through New Zealand as if you were Frodo yourself.

 

Sydney, Australia

sydney australia

Australia might not be a traveler’s first thought of where to spend their Christmas break, but Sydney truly might be one of the most festive cities in the world. December in Australia is actually summertime, but don’t be fooled by the 80-degree temperatures; just like any other travel spot, Sydney spares no expense in creating a Christmas wonderland throughout the city. Some highlights include the enormous Christmas tree at Martin Place pedestrian mall , the dazzling holiday lights at Town Hall, and Christmas on the Green in Hyde Park, where an appearance by Santa delight youngsters and their parents.

 

Colombia

columbia

This country is blessed with excellent natural beauty and is truly a top holiday destination where you can enjoy your vacation with your family or friends. Whether you are looking for high green mountains, sun soaked beaches or lively culture; you will find everything in this country. People who like shopping visit this excellent country and return with their bags filled. There are also many attractive and old museums in Colombia which is famous in and around the country.

 

Milan, Italy

milan italy

Milan is the hub of Italian culture, music, media, and sports. If you’re a fashionista then Milan is a must-visit destination due to its status as a fashion capital along with Paris and New York.  It has been an interesting and vibrant place since its inception as the capital of the western half of the Roman Empire. It was one of the most glorious of the Italian Comuni during the Middle Ages. With so many things to do and see, take the time to simply enjoy yourself – this is a destination that every traveler must have one their list.

 

There are numerous vacation destinations in this world where you can enjoy your holidays with your family or friends. If you are just fed up of your busy schedule and want to have a break then it is always better to plan a vacation for you and your loved ones to one of the top holiday destinations. It will not only relax your mind, but you will find yourself feeling fresh and alive again on returning back to the work.

 


 

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What is BYOD and Why is it Important?

byod bring your own device

For many companies, the days of corporate-provided devices are over. Employees want to use the mobile devices they are most comfortable with – and they don’t want to have to worry about separate devices for home and work. To accommodate this growing trend, most employers allow implementing BYOD policies and allowing employees to “bring your own device” to work.

 
According to Software Providers, a business software consulting firm, the biggest problem with BYOD policies is security. When you use a mobile device for personal reasons, you may have some basic security in place to protect your passwords, photographs, and social media accounts. But when you bring this device to work and use it to access sensitive company information, additional security is needed.

 

To deal with this emerging threats to company data, employers have turned to security technology from many different companies, including:

• Airwatch
• Absolute
• Excitor
• Fiberlink MaaS360
• Afaria
• Zenprise
• McAfee
• FancyFon

 

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the issues surrounding BYOD security for companies and employees today.

 

Fear of Big Brother
When BYOD first became popular, employees balked employers having access to their personal data – and a say in what they could have or do on their personal devices. As a result, most businesses that implement BYOD now require employees and employers to sign an agreement that outlines their BYOD policies. These policies now focus on ensuring the security and privacy of employee as well as company data and activities.

big brother
The mobile security providers listed above have evolved their functionality over the past few years. Now, they can monitor, secure and even wipe out company data, while still preserving personal data in the event of a security breach. This has helped establish and maintain trust between employers and employees, and helps employees to feel more secure in using personal devices at work.

 
Should you ban personal devices or invest in security software?
Some employers have attempted to ban the practice of BYOD rather than deal with the security issues it involves. However, some who have attempted this have found that it can cause more problems than just dealing with the issue head-on.

byod security

The problem with banning BYOD policies is that it is difficult to achieve 100% compliance. It’s not that employees purposely want to put their employer at risk. But in today’s world, checking email on mobile devices – even outside of work hours – is commonplace. To ban such a practice puts both employees and employers at a serious disadvantage.
Because it’s that much harder to find and fix a security leak among personal devices without a structured BYOD policy, many employers have discovered that allowing BYOD – and enforcing strict policies for its use – is a better option. Then, security issues can be seen more clearly and dealt with more quickly.

 

If BYOD is banned and an employee checks his or her company email on a mobile device, IT specialists at that company may not even know it has happened. But if BYOD is allowed and a security monitoring system is in place, the IT department can monitor the devices and be better alerted to possible data breaches. This gives employers better control and better security.

 
Small expense, big reward
In today’s highly mobile world, employers should view BYOD security as a necessary expense, not a sunk cost. BYOD security, while costly up front, can save money in the long run. Security breaches can be devastating to a business – both economically and in terms of branding and PR. Put in those terms, BYOD security is a worthwhile investment.

 
Managers should research the security options that are available and make a choice based on their company’s specific needs. Instead of denying that device security is an issue, employers should face the issue head-on and proactively work to find a solution that both benefits employees and employers alike.

 


 

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Christmas Shopping Trends 2014 [Infographic]

American consumers are increasing their shopping time online and on their smartphones! This is the final conclusion we came up here as we analyzed recent shopping trends. Black Friday is still the dominant shopping day of the year, but Cyber Monday sales have increased every year as consumers have become more comfortable shopping online using their smartphones and tablets.

 

Check out the infographic below for some more insights into consumer shopping habits this Christmas.

 

Christmas Shopping Trends 2014

 


 

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