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Protect Your Finances and Your Presents This Holiday Season

Protect Your Finances and Your Presents This Holiday Season

By    |   Wednesday, 22 November 2017 09:10 AM

Today, millions of Americans will enter into the frenzy of the shopping season — but in the wake of the Equifax breach, and with package thieves lurking, many of us may feel vulnerable. Here are some tips to protect yourselves this holiday season.

Here are some tips to protect yourselves this holiday season.

Use Credit, Not Debit

While this may sound funny for a financial advisor to recommend given that so many people can get themselves into trouble with credit cards, there are security benefits to using a credit card. For example, if your card is stolen and used, your unauthorized credit card charge maxes out at $50.

With a debit card, whether you get your money back depends on when you report the fraud. If you wait two days after your debit card is stolen, you are responsible for as much as $50, but if you wait more than two days, that number jumps up to $500.

While you may eventually get reimbursed for fraudulent debit card transactions, your money will be tied up until the bank investigates the charges and issues a refund, which could take weeks. To avoid getting into trouble with credit cards, and your holiday spending in general, the solution is simple. Make a budget of how much you’re going to spend, and don’t go over it. Also, pay it off before you get charged interest. Planning ahead is the best protection against over spending.

Set up Mobile Alerts with Your Bank

If there's a purchase made of more than $125, for example, most banks can send you an e-mail or text.

Be Careful With the Wi-Fi you Use

My recommendation is to only shop on trusted wireless networks. Using a free, unauthorized network leaves your passwords, credit card numbers and personal information vulnerable.

Be Intentional About Protecting Your Packages

Thankfully the major package delivery companies are seeking to curb the problem of package theft but it’s good to know your options. One thing you can do is request a signature at delivery- that way you know someone will be home when it’s delivered and not left for thieves on your front porch. There are also free delivery programs such as “My Choice Program” which is offered by UPS. This allows you to pick a two-hour delivery window so you can make sure someone is home at a time that’s convenient for you.

You can also choose to receive a text or email alert when the package has been delivered. Finally, you can redirect your shipment to a UPS, Fedex or USPS location for secure pickup. While this may require you to possibly wait in line, thus decreasing the convenience of shopping online, it is the surest way to protect your stuff.

Just like we encourage our clients to proactively plan for retirement by developing comprehensive retirement income plans, we also encourage people to proactively plan in their personal finance matters. It’s important to know your options and take steps to minimize your risk.

Jeff Dixson is known as “The Retirement Coach” and is the founder and president of Northwest Financial & Tax Solutions, Inc. A respected financial educator, Jeff hosts a weekly radio show that airs on seven stations and is author of Winning The Retirement Game.

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However, in the wake of the Equifax breach and with package thieves lurking, many of us may feel vulnerable. Here are some tips to protect yourselves this holiday season.
protect, finances, holiday, season
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2017-10-22
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 09:10 AM
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