Keeping Your ID Safe During the Holidays

Tips for Protecting Your Identity During the Holiday Season (and Beyond)

For many of us "shoppers" this year's busy holiday season will probably involve a lot of credit and debit card swipes, vacations and generally frantic activity. That makes it the perfect time for identity thieves to try to steal your identity. The Credit Bureau Equifax is offering the following tips for protecting your identity as we head into this holiday season, but these can be used all year long.

  • At school, visit the IT department to ensure that your campus Internet is secure.
  • When filling out forms that require your personal information try to submit sensitive information handwritten through priority mail. If you are submitting them online verify it is through a secure connection.
  • Keep birth certificates, Social Security cards and other personal documents in a lockbox.
  • When disposing of documents, use a diagonal shredder.
  • Take outgoing bills, government forms, or tax forms directly to the post office.
  • Refrain from putting your driver's license number on your personal checks.
  • Consider writing just your first initial and last name on checks.
  • Always shred credit card receipts at home.
  • Install anti-virus software, anti-malware software and a firewall on your computer and keep the programs up to date.
  • Use unique passwords that are different for each website and change them often-particularly following times when you've been swiping your cards in strange places (such as shopping malls).
  • Don't include your birth-date or other sensitive information on your social media accounts, even just the month and day.
  • Consider a credit monitoring and identity theft protection product. Macon-Atlanta State Bank has two different checking accounts (SecurePoint and SmartPoint) that offer identity theft monitoring and protection. Click here for more information.

Stay safe this holiday season so you can enjoy peace of mind all year!