GEICO Offers Last Minute Tips to Protect Your Identity During Holiday Shopping

WASHINGTON–()–Millions of shoppers will flock to the stores looking for last minute gifts, but before you pull out your credit cards, GEICO offers these last minute reminders to safeguard your personal information over the holidays and into 2018.

Beware of data security incident– Every time you use your credit or debit card with retailers, you leave behind a trail of valuable information that is susceptible to a data security incident. Protect your identity by using alternative forms of payment (cash, traveler’s checks, prepaid cards) that aren’t connected to your personal information.

Prepaid is the way – A prepaid Visa credit card acts just like a credit or debit card and also goes a long way to protect your personal information from thieves and data incidents. And just like a credit or debit card, if your prepaid card is ever lost or stolen, you can recover your money.

Be careful what you sign up for – Steer clear of in-store and online promotions that promise you a discount on your purchased items if you fork over personal information. Most retailers sell your information to the highest bidder (marketing companies) who then create a profile about your buying habits and solicit you with things they think you might want to purchase.

Free Wi-Fi comes with a price – Believe it or not, free public Wi-Fi comes with a very big security risk. Never connect to your bank, credit card or other sensitive accounts over public Wi-Fi. The open nature of public Wi-Fi allows hackers a direct line into any unsecured personal information that may be stored on your laptop or mobile device. Disabling the Wi-Fi function will prevent it from connecting to a public Wi-Fi signal automatically.

Close your banking and credit card apps – If someone hacks into your laptop or mobile device while your apps are open, they may be able to gain access to any open information. Make sure to close all of your banking and financial apps after each use. Keep in mind that some apps will automatically log you off, but only after a certain period of inactivity.

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