Stay Safe while Shopping this Season with #Lifelock

In just a couple of short days Black Friday will be upon us. And just to up the ante we now have Black Thursday with many stores opening Thanksgiving evening. Throw in Cyber Monday and all the other days we are out looking for the perfect gift and you have countless ways for your information to be stolen. Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $854 for gifts this holiday season.

It doesn’t matter if you shop online or in stores, there is always a potential for your information to be stolen. But you can take some steps to help protect yourself.

If you will do any shopping online make sure that all your software is up to date. In a poll last year by the National Cyber Security Alliance, nearly half of users who thought that their software was protecting them actually were not covered as they had not updated the software.

Do not shop online using your smartphone. Some malware has been reported through holiday themed applications and QR codes.

Only buy gift cards online through the retailer. According to the National Retail Federation gift cards on online auction sites are more likely to be counterfeit or obtained through fraudulent means.

And just like when you are donating online always make sure you are buying through a secure site. Look for the https: and the padlock on the site before you shop.

Maybe shopping in store is more your cup of tea.

Consider paying with cash or if you do use your credit card hand it to the cashier to run. Point of sale terminals can be tampered with. It is safer to hand your card to the cashier to be run through the register.

Be aware of those around you when you are paying for your purchases with a credit or debit card. Cell phones can be used to take pictures of your card and even video of you entering your PIN number.

No matter how you shop, save all your receipts so you can compare them with your statements and also to make sure you were not charged incorrectly.

Once your credit card statement does arrive and you check to make sure all the charges are correct use a paper shredder to destroy them rather than tossing whole. Many times identity thieves go through your garbage to collect personal information.

And finally consider signing up with Lifelock to help keep your identity safe. I have been using this service for a couple of months now and I could not be happier. Just last week I was notified that there were new registered sex offenders in my area as well as when a new account was opened in my name. A simple click and I was able to verify that I was the one who opened the account.

Just in time to help you get ready to shop this holiday season Lifelock is having an amazing Twitter party on November 23rd at 3pm PST. Co-hosted by I Wear Your Shirt.

RSVP above to join the Twitter Party and I will see you there.

Besides learning how to be safe when shopping online and in stores there are some incredible prizes up for grabs.

Grand Prize: (1) One $600 Best Buy gift card & (1) 1-year LifeLock Ultimate Membership will be awarded to one participant of the Twitter Party; winner selected at random.

(4) Four $100 Best Buy gift cards & (4) 1-year LifeLock Ultimate Memberships will be awarded to four participants of the Twitter Party; winners selected at random.

And while you are online don’t forget to play the Lifelock for Life Sweepstakes for your chance to win one of four (4) $100 LifeLock Branded Visa Gift Cards or a $1,000 Visa Gift Card.

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.