Don't Let the Grinch Steal Your Credit
Posted On: November 22, 2017
It doesn’t matter how good you’ve been all year long; some truly diabolical individuals are always out to put a damper on your holiday spirit. We all know the type: The Grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge, The Abominable Snowman, credit thieves. Some are worse than others…let’s be honest, credit thieves are the worst.
Don’t let your holiday shopping fall prey to credit thieves: use these handy tips to stay merry, and keep your credit safe.
The Essential First Step – Sign the back of your card immediately when you first receive it in the mail. Never store the PIN in the same place as the card (in case the card is stolen).
Don’t Flaunt It – The less people see your card while out in public, the better. Also, don’t offer your card information over the phone unless you initiated the call, or it’s with a bank or merchant that you trust.
Keep it Current – Keep all your information associated with the card current. A simple enough step. This way, sensitive information isn’t being mailed out to the wrong address.
Staying Safe While Shopping Online:
Bunkered Down Behind the Firewall – When shopping online, you can’t really keep the card hidden out of sight like you would in a store. You can, however, keep your computer in top form so that it keeps your card hidden. Make sure you have a firewall (and that it’s turned on), and also keep your computer’s operating system up-to-date.
A Watchful Eye, Even When You’re Not Online – You can’t watch your credit at all hours of the day: sign up for Stream’s Credit Monitoring service. With it, you’ll have 24/7 monitoring of all three Credit Bureaus, real time alert for credit data changes, and monthly credit score updates emailed to you.
Security Guards, but Inside Your Computer – Install security software, such as anti-virus and anti-spyware. With them, you’ll be able to keep intrusive programs from worming their way into your computer, and therefore your business. Even with both of these though, you should still avoid downloading files from unknown or untrusted places.