7 Tips for Protecting Your Identity During the Holidays

The best part of the holiday season is giving, but you don’t want to give your personal information away. Identity thieves work extra hard during December. In this blog, we offer several tips for protecting your identity this holiday season.

1. Update Your Digital Devices

Ignoring operating system updates on your computer, tablet, smartphone and other digital devices puts your personal data at risk. Set your device for automatic updates so you don’t miss critical security patches.

2. Back Up Your Data

Cybercriminals don’t take time off during the holidays. Always back up your personal data to protect it from hackers. If you own a business, store your backup data offsite in a dedicated media vault where it’s protected from unauthorized access with specialized technology that includes:

  • 24/7 security monitoring
  • Media-specific climate control systems
  • Fire detection and suppression systems

Your offsite vaulting provider can come daily, weekly or monthly to pick up your backup media for offsite storage and return archival tapes for re-introduction to the scratch pool.

3. Avoid Public WiFi Networks

Public WiFi networks are easy targets for cybercriminals. So, avoid using free WiFi networks when you’re shopping, running errands, or at the coffee shop. If you must connect to the internet on the go, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and your mobile data connection.

4. Don’t Share Personal Information on the Phone

Phone scammers capitalize on festive moods and generosity during the holidays. Never share personal information over the phone. Legitimate charities will contact you through snail mail.

5. Don’t Share Personal Info on Social Media

Social media makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends during the holiday, but posting personal information makes it easy for criminals to steal your identity. Never share your birth date, address, phone number or other personal data on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms.

6. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Cybercriminals can eventually crack most passwords. That’s why web-based services now offer two-factor authentication, which works by sending you a passcode each time you log in or using a code generator app like Google Authenticator. Combining two-factor authentication with a strong password helps safeguard your information and identity.

7. Check Your Credit

Each of the major credit agencies offer a free, annual credit report. Take advantage of the offer before the end of each year so you know if someone has used your name to apply for credit.

American Document Securities provides records storage and document shredding services to businesses in Atlanta and Northeast Georgia. For more identity theft prevention tips, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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My staff and I had the pleasure of participating in an ADS Consulting Shredding & Storage Workshop in April 2011.As a new business, it was critical for us to get off to a good start. The workshop provided us with useful information and practical applications that helped us do that. The ‘hands on’ training experience we received in a successful, working document destruction and storage business environment was invaluable.Renee and her staff were very personable and helpful and continue to be valuable business partners to this day.I highly recommend the ADS Workshop to both new and existing businesses

Rob Giannini, C.O.O.Commonwealth ...