Protecting your identity during the holidays

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Roger Cowen of the Cowen Tax Advisory Group, sat down with FoxCT to discuss the best practices for protecting your identity during the holidays.

He broke down his recommended safety practices into five, easy to remember steps:

1. Paper or Plastic?

When purchasing items during the holidays, it is also better to use cash, as your identity will be 100% protected, but if you must you a card, a credit card should always be your preferred choice over a debit card.  If you must use a debit card, make sure it only has a limited amount of money on it or use a prepaid debit card, just to be safe.

2. Shop Secure Sites

Online shopping is extremely popular, but make sure to type in the specific company name you are looking for, instead of clicking redirect links from social media sites or emails.

3. Keep Your Online Guard Up

Guard your personal information online and do not give out your SSN, your mother’s maiden name, or your children’s date of birth- any information that you might use for other personal security questions should not be used for online purchases.

4. Engage Your Eagle Eyes

Watch your statements and bank account balances as frequently as possible.  “The longer identity theft goes, the more painful it becomes.”

5. Give Yourself the Gift of Monitoring

Stores like KMart are now providing monitoring services free of charge to send you immediate notification if someone attempts to use your private information.

Sites that begin with “https” are secure, whereas you need to be wary of sites with just “http.”

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