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The holiday season is filled to the brink with shopping from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also ripe with identity theft. With all of that credit card swiping, it’s extra important to know the tips to protect your identity.

Pay With Cash

Card skimming is popular during the holidays and skimmers can be attached to credit card readers or ATMs. If you’re able to do some of your shopping with cash, that’s your safest bet. Go into your bank to withdraw money from the teller instead of using the ATM.

Use Your Credit Card

Instead of using your debit card for holiday shopping transactions, use your credit card. You’ll get more protection from your credit card and it won’t pull your own money straight from your account. Most credit cards have full protection from fraud so long as you report it within 90 days. Make sure to read your credit card guidelines carefully before starting your holiday shopping.

Shop Online Safely

Don’t shop online using a public WiFi network, like the one you’d use at a coffee shop. Criminals can access your credit card or bank information if you enter it online. This goes for the transactions you do on your laptop as well as those you do on your mobile devices, like your tablet or phone.

Freeze Your Card

If you think that you may have been hacked, call your credit card company or bank to freeze your card. Just make sure that your automatic payments won’t be affected, like your automobile insurance coverage or your homeowners insurance coverage. It’s a good idea to do all of your shopping with a separate card so that things like your automated utility payments and insurance coverage payments won’t bounce.

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