To make sure your holiday season is merry and bright, I would like to give you the gift of practical ways to protect yourself and your customers from possible problems, either online or offline.

Often the busyness of the season makes shoppers a little careless about taking the time and care to protect their personal information. And, unscrupulous bad guys are there to turn the most wonderful time of the year into an after-Christmas nightmare for the unsuspecting victim of identity fraud or theft.

Many things crowd into our lives as we rush about in celebration of our holiday season, it is important to remember that during the season of peace and love and goodwill, there are those lurking in the shadows to take advantage of our good cheer.

So, be reminded to keep track of your personal information, your wallet, your debit and credit cards. Make sure to double-check your purse, pockets and packages to secure your credit card receipts and see you have all your information and purchases.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

Know the retailer you are dealing with. Use well-known names, those with brick and mortar establishments or companies like

Be sure you are on a secure site. Check for the little lock in the lower right hand corner of your browser or that an “https:” is indicated in the browser.

Be sure to check the site’s privacy policy.

Do not give your credit card number over a cell phone or in an email message. Neither of these methods are safe communication of your personal information. Ever!

Store Shopping Safety Tips

If you are a shopping customer, keep an eye on your sales clerk when you go to make a purchase.

There have been many reported incidents where sales clerks had scanners (small, pager looking, devices) attached to their waistbands or belts. Before or after your credit card would be run for your purchase, your card would be swiped through the scanner to obtain the number and other information available. You would be none the wiser…until later.

The ruse used for the customer is something along the lines, “I was just cleaning the magnetic strip on the card, so it would work properly.” Do not let this happen to you.

If you observe this situation, or if you are a victim of such an action, find the management now!

The police need to be notified. Hundreds of credit card numbers are stolen in this fashion, and so many folks are unaware of this method of theft.

If you are in a retail business, make sure you double-check your seasonal employees.

Keep track of any pager like devices on their belts or suspicious activity. Can you spell L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y.? It could be yours which would ruin your joyous season too.

There are really three protection perspectives to keep in mind as you travel the highways and byways of the holiday season.


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