Keep The Holidays Happy
Take Precautions to Protect Yourself and Your Money
Beecher, Illinois (November 30, 2012) - Santa isn't the only one watching during the holidays. Criminals love this time of year, too. People use their credit cards more frequently, providing more opportunities for fraud and theft. Also, publicized vacations are an invitation to unwanted houseguests. By paying a little more attention, you can avoid some of the situations that make you more vulnerable.
Secure Your New Toys: Electronic gadgets - computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones - are always fun and popular gifts. The first instinct is to take it out and play with it immediately. Before doing so, take the time to secure it by downloading all required updates and installing anti-virus software. Don’t forget to password-protect your new smartphone.
Donate to Reputable Charities: The holidays are a time of generosity and compassion. For many worthy organizations this is when they get the bulk of their donations for the year. Don’t be fooled by scammers trying to make a profit with a false charity. Research questionable organizations through websites like www.charitynavigator.org.
Use Social Media Cautiously: It’s always fun to brag a little on Facebook or Twitter about upcoming vacations, however if your privacy settings allow anyone to see your posts, you could return home to an empty house. Criminals are getting very good at using social media to find out who will be gone and for how long. Adjust your settings (and those of your kids’ too) so only family and close friends can see your posts. Or, if you want your profile to remain public, keep specific plans and location information to yourself.
Keep the Lights Shining: If you will be away for an extended period during the holidays (or any time for that matter), make it look like you are still home by using timers to turn lights on and off in the evening. Make arrangements for newspaper and/or mail pick up and if necessary, snow removal.