Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Privacy Protection During the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, with its attendant shopping, this is a good time to be aware of several small, but important steps we can take to help protect our privacy and avoid identity theft.

For example, many retailers ask for your zip code, telephone number, or address when making a purchase or exchange. It is never necessary to give out this information, and it is better if you don’t.

Also, when shopping, notice that the store keeps a copy of your receipt, and you are given a copy. While most stores comply with the law and do not print your full credit card number on the receipt, some still (and inappropriately) have the complete credit card number on the receipt. Make sure that only the last four digits are visible on their (and your) copy of the receipt.

Finally, when making internet purchases, only do so from a “secured” website. Such sites are considered more secure because they have specific firewalls installed that make it more difficult for hackers to access your information. While nothing is completely “hacker-proof,” this is at least one good way to ensure you have taken steps to protect yourself from having your information stolen.

For more information, see:

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