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12 Days to a Safe Christmas!

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Sileo.com Checks Unlimited Home Sileo.com Checks Unlimited Home Page Prevent Holiday Identity Theft It?s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas- at the Mall! Stopping Hackers When You?re Shopping on Wi-Fi Holiday Shopping Quiz ? Is Credit or Debit Smarter? Don?t Tell Facebook You Won?t Be Home for the Holidays Don?t Let the Grinch Steal Your Party! It?s a Wonderful Life?Let?s Keep it That Way What to Give the Person Who has Everything (& Wants to Keep it!) I?m getting Nuttin? (But Scams) for Christmas Beware the Phony Santa Claus Comin? to Town  Is that Holiday Email Really a Lump of Coal? Holiday Security Tips All Wrapped up Together

 

12th Day: Holiday Security Tips All Wrapped up Together

Would you like to give the people you care about some peace on earth during this holiday season? Take a few minutes to pass on our 12 privacy tips that will help them protect their identities, social media, shopping and celebrating over the coming weeks. The more people that take the steps we’ve outlined in the 12 Days of Christmas, the safer we all become, collectively.

Have a wonderful holiday season, regardless of which tradition you celebrate. Now sing (and click) along with us one more time.  

On the 12th Day of Christmas, the experts gave to me:

12 Happy Holidays,

11 Private Emails,

10 Trusted Charities

9 Protected Packages

8 Scam Detectors

7 Fraud Alerts

6 Safe Celebrations

Fiiiiiiiiiiive Facebook Fixes

4 Pay Solutions

3 Stymied Hackers

2 Shopping Tips

And the Keys to Protect My Privacy

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Protect Your Packages this Holiday Season!

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Almost 20 billion packages will be delivered through the mail this holiday season. Even at $5 per package, that’s more than $100 Billion in value going through the mail–a scale too large and tempting for criminals to ignore.

Why do thieves target us during the holidays? In addition to the volume and value of holiday mail, criminals are taking advantage of the perfect winter storm:

  • Trucks are overloaded, mail & UPS carriers are overworked and shoppers are overwhelmed, which makes theft easy and attractive
  • Thieves take advantage not just of our good nature during the holidays, but of how distracted we are
  • Criminals see our generosity of giving as a goldmine waiting to be exploited

But picking packages off of your doorstep isn’t the only type of crime that skyrockets during December. Thieves don’t just want to steal the gifts inside your packages, they want the identity information that goes along with them: credit card numbers, bank accounts, invoices, even the checks that grandma sends in a holiday card. Check washers want to soak your checks in acetone, erase the Pay To field and replacing it with the word CASH.

How do we protect our mail and packages during the holidays, or any day?

  • Install a locking mailbox at your home and retrieve your mail early in the day, before criminals have a chance to steal it
  • Get a PO box during heavy mailing times and use that address for packages, sensitive documents or payments
  • Instead of putting outbound packages in your mailbox, drop them directly at the post office. Even the blue USPS boxes are commonly emptied by thieves at night.
  • Tell Grandma to stop sending cash! It’s too easy to steal and impossible to trace.
  • If you must send a physical payment through the mail, use high security checks like those provided by Deluxe.
  • Use UPS or FedEx to ship packages so that you can track their progress, insure the contents and require a signature at the other end.
  • If you generally aren’t at home when packages are delivered, have them shipped to your work so that they don’t sit on your porch for hours.
  • Check out our 12 Days to a Safe Christmas for more tips on protecting yourself against cyber crime, party crashers and Facebook stalkers during the season.

Take these simple tips when sending gifts and cards and you won’t lose your valuable data and goods to the identity theft Grinches.

 

Identity Theives Don't Take A Holiday

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The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the biggest shopping time of the year. As we enter the season of giving there is one thing we should be stingy with – protecting our Identities!

Holiday madness, crazed shoppers and packed malls. While we are bustling from store to store and internet site to internet site trying to complete everyone’s holiday list, thieves and scammers are taking our distraction as a signal to strike. According to the author of Privacy Means Profit and identity theft expert John Sileo, “This is the easiest time of year for thieves to steal wallets, break into houses and profit financially from the season of giving without victims detecting it for a long time.”

With just three weeks until Christmas, now is the time to protect yourself and make sure that your Identity is safe from potential thieves. Just last month, Sileo was hired to speak to the Department of Defense and included some of the most important Holiday Safety Prevention Tips:

* Don’t trust your email. There are so many holiday scams by email that you should read everything with an enormous grain of salt. If someone is promising you something for nothing (free gift, free money, etc.), don’t buy it.
* Protect your home. Your greatest risk during the busyness is all of the extra people that come into your home. It makes it very easy to pocket a check book that’s on your desk or a brokerage statement in your filing cabinet. Especially during the holidays, lock it up!
* Use your credit card. Don’t use checks and don’t use a debit card, as they don’t give you nearly as much protection.
* Carry less in your wallet. It is too easy to steal a purse that is sitting at your feet as you pay or have lunch. The very best advice is to take your drivers license and one or two credit cards with you shopping.
* Watch your statements. Most forms of holiday identity theft can be caught simply by monitoring your checking, debit and credit card accounts frequently. Even better, sign up for automatic account alerts when any transaction occurs on your account.
* Give yourself the gift of Identity Monitoring.
* Shop on secure websites. Make sure that both the https:// and lock symbols appear in your browser.
* Be cautious in public. Don’t give your credit card number (or Social Security Number) over the phone if someone is within earshot.  Shield your PIN number when entering it at an ATM or card swipe.
* Donate to known charities and only when you have initiated the gift. Don’t respond to phone calls for charity.
* Rotate your credit cards. After the busy holiday shopping season is over, call your credit card company and ask them to issue you a new card (you can tell them that you are concerned that your credit card number was stolen).
* Don’t advertise travel plans to burglars on Social Networking sites.

Distraction is the worst enemy when it comes to crime and the holidays. In addition to spending more money, we tend to be busier, more stressed-out and less careful than other times of the year.  Identity thieves take advantage of this distraction to perform information extraction.

Identity theft expert John Sileo speaks around the world on identity theft, privacy, social networking exposure, cyber crime, social engineering and other forms of information theft. His clients include the Department of Defense, Blue Cross, FDIC, Pfizer and hundreds of organizations of all sizes. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076 or at www.ThinkLikeASpy.com.