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Shoppers: Protect against identity theft

Posted On Wed, November 28, 2012

The Insurance Information Institute recently released a report stating that consumers should take extra precautions to protect themselves against identity theft during the holiday season.

The notice stated that due to the increase in online shopping during the holidays, identity thieves often step up their efforts to access consumers' personal information.

Fortunately, there are steps that consumers can take to protect themselves against an online attack. For instance, consumers who only shop at reputable stores often have a better chance of keeping their private information hidden. Above all else, consumers should never enter their credit or debit card data into a checkout page if the site does not have a secure sockets layer (SSL). Sites that do have an SSL will start their url with HTTPS://, rather than just HTTP://.

Additionally, consumers should take extra care to monitor all credit and debit accounts during this time. At the slightest hint of suspicious activity, they should alert their bank and cancel the card.

Consumers also have the option of purchasing identity theft insurance, which is designed to reimburse scam victims for any money that was stolen. It can be purchased alongside a standard homeowners insurance policy, or as a stand-alone. Insurance rates for the policy run at approximately $25-50 per year.

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