Generali Global Assistance (GGA) keeps up on all things cyber. The company recently took a look at holiday shopping. It found:
• 75% are more skeptical about shopping during the holidays
• 91% of us will holiday shop but don’t think merchants can protect our personal information
• 40% don’t think businesses do enough to protect our information
• 75% of us are somewhat or very concerned about a data breach impacting our personal information
That we are shopping is a given and our concern about merchants is deserved. A bigger concern, however, is where we shop.
• 57% of us believe online shopping puts us at greater risk of ID theft than a brick and mortar store
• 84% of us say we’ll never shop at a store again if it is one where our ID was taken
• Just 22% of us think the brick and mortar store is an ID theft danger
What about physical assaults like being robbed or having our pockets picked?
• 11% of us fear being physically robbed
• 10% are concerned about having their vehicle broken into
Paige Schaffer of Generali Global’s Assistance Identity program said, “Consumers are clearly more concerned than ever about identity theft and related issues as we enter the 2017 holiday season. With data breaches at major organizations occurring so frequently and impacting literally millions of people in the U.S. alone, consumer confidence in the ability of businesses to protect their data has been shaken.”
None of this — however — is going to keep us from holiday shopping and spending money. Most of us will use credit cards to pay for gifts followed by debit cards and cash. Some of us still — believe it or not — use checks and a few will use mobile payment apps.
• 91% of us will shop this holiday season
• 75% will do at least some shopping online
Schaffer’s advice is to be careful out there. “The holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year, and all this spending results in increased vulnerabilities for hackers and other nefarious parties to exploit. The increased use of credit cards, greater smartphone usage and even crowded malls can all pose identity theft risks during the holidays. Fortunately, there are steps that consumers can take to protect themselves in order to enjoy a worry-free and festive season,” Schaffer said.
And whatever you do — she warns — be careful with your cell phone.
“Regardless of where they are being used, consumers should limit the use of unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks. While using such networks may be tempting because of the convenience they provide, unsecured connections may create openings for hackers to steal your personal information,” Schaffer warned.
What happens — she noted — is ID thieves will set up unsecured networks in public areas and hope people will log into them thinking they belong to a mall or a merchant or someone safe. “If you must use a public network, it is essential to never access your financial account or any other sites that require a password,” she said.
Also keep your personal items safe because ID theft can occur in ways other than online.
“Throughout the holidays, many consumers will find themselves in crowded locations — malls, parties, airports and the like. Crowded areas are ideal for pickpockets, as all the hustle and bustle can leave even the shrewdest individuals unaware,” she said.
Her advice: keep wallets, passports, smartphones and other sensitive items in bags and pockets and only take them out when you need to use them. Also be careful of ATM machines and gas pumps. Your info could be skimmed.
Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com