As the holiday season approaches, it is that time of year when crime tends to rise. And although the list of security tips listed below is nothing new, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of these useful tips to ensure we are not victims of identity theft, digital fraud or any other sort of crime.

Tip 1: Keep your money and credit cards safe.

While you are out shopping for gifts, make sure your cash and credit cards are not readily visible or easily lifted.  For the ladies, this means keeping your purse closed at all times and for the men keeping your wallet near your body where you can feel it.

Tip 2: Email scams

Do not click on links embedded in your email or open attachments from random sites or people unless you are absolutely sure it is a legitimate email.  This is how malware can end up installed on your PC for the purposes of stealing your identity or learning more about you and your activities.  In addition, do not respond to requests for your personal information, especially your credit card or social security number. Email scams tend to rise during the holiday season, so be aware and alert to your email activities.

Tip3: Secure Internet purchases?

Legitimate company sites use what is referred to in the security industry as SSL certificates, which creates a secure connection between you and the site.  You can identify this by the “https:” in the web address. The “s” in the “http” is what is important.  If the site is not secure with this protocol then you should think twice about using it.

Tip 4: Be careful when using Social Media.

There are many tips here; below are a few definite ones.

  • Do not post you’re leaving to visit the in-laws or “tweet” about how wonderful a time you are having vacationing. This provides everyone in the digital world a notification you are not at home, which can lead to break-ins and theft.
  • Do not send your personal information through a social media channel.  By putting this in a digital format, you have no control over where it might end up or whose eyes will see it.
  • Only “friend” those you know.  It is okay to reject the requests if you do not know them.  Cyber criminals use this medium to gather information on people and companies, which can open make you susceptible to financial or identity theft.

Tip 5: Other general security tips.

  • Park in well lighted areas, even if you have to walk a little further.
  • Keep all those gifts / packages out of sight in your car. Do not leave the packages in your back seat. Use your trunk.

Following these simple tips will help to ensure you have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season.