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5 Holiday Tips:  Protecting Your Family’s Identity During The Holidays

It’s once again the time of year when shoppers are making plans to visit relatives, host festive get-togethers, and hit the stores (or computer) for some shopping. The flurry of activity that goes hand-in-hand with the holidays presents a prime opportunity for a data thief to practice his trade. With that in mind, put the protection of sensitive personal information at the top of your holiday to-do list.
The following tips can help shoppers keep their sensitive information safe:
TIP #1: Practice safe shopping in stores
» Before you hit the stores, take stock of what’s in your purse/wallet so you’ll know what is missing if your purse/wallet is lost or stolen.
» Consider your preferred method of payment—each has pros and cons. From a theft standpoint, credit cards are safer because you usually have more protection against fraudulent charges. Be careful with checkbooks, as stolen checks can give the thief access to your checking account.
TIP #2: Practice safe shopping online
» Never use a public computer (like those at the library) to perform online financial transactions. Likewise, if the coffee shop is offering free wi-fi, don’t be tempted to use your computer to buy anything there either.
» When using your own computer, periodically install your security software’s latest update and run a scan of your computer. Beyond that, practice smart shopping by visiting reputable sites.
» Just as you would keep receipts from the stores, keep a record of your online transactions. Check your debit/credit accounts to verify only authorized transactions are registered. If you see any unauthorized transactions, dispute them with your financial institution immediately.
TIP #3: Think before mailing holiday cards
» E-cards are convenient and fun, but beware: disreputable e-card websites may load malware on your computer and may send it along to all of your recipients as well. Send e-cards from a reputable source. If you’re receiving the cards, beware of cards that have generic sender information, such as “a friend” or “a relative.” If the card comes with an attachment, particularly an executable (.exe) attachment, it’s best to delete it.
» Snail mail is a popular way to send greetings and gifts. When sending checks, use a dark, pigmented ink that can’t be easily altered. 
» Never leave mail with sensitive information in an unlocked mailbox, mail it from an official USPS office. For items that arrive at your home, you might consider purchasing a locking mailbox.
TIP #4: Protect yourself & your guests at home for the holidays
» Secure any documentation in your home that may contain sensitive information. Keep these items in a locked cabinet, if possible, and in an area that will be inaccessible to guests. For your guests, assign a safe area to keep purses and other personal items. 
TIP #5: Protect personal information while traveling
» Never leave sensitive information in your hotel room or car. If you wish to leave your laptop in the hotel, be sure to put it in your room safe. 
» Beware of pretexting while staying at the hotel. This scam has become extremely popular, many hotels now post warnings to hotel guests not to provide their personal information over the phone. The front desk already has this information on file and has no need to call you for it. If you do get a call, ask for the person’s name and call the front desk yourself to verify.
For more on <a title="Protecting Your Family's Identity During The Holidays" href="" target="_blank">protecting  your family's identity</a> call:  Sheri Painter • Premier Solutions 805-890-8817

Guilt Trip

Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, and who better to accompany him than his overbearing mother Joyce.  After deciding to start his adventure with a quick visit at mom’s, Andy is guilted into bringing her along for the ride.  Across 3,000 miles of ever-changing landscape, he is constantly aggravated by her antics, but over time he comes to realize that their lives have more in common than he originally thought.  His mother’s advice might end up being exactly what he needs.
"It was an enjoyable movie with good laughs and sweet moments between mom and son after some conflict and tension as they make their way across the country in a tiny car.  They each take away some new perspective and appreciation of life's ups and downs and their relationship.  The actors were good and the chemistry between them was great."
Disneyland® Resort is bringing the excitement of the newly expanded Disney California Adventure® Park to the 124th Rose Parade, with a Cars Land-inspired float. Fans of the Disney·Pixar movie “Cars” won’t want to miss this brand new float, which features floral representations of Lightning McQueen, Sally, Luigi and Guido. Spectators will also notice familiar sights from the new Cars Land, including Ornament Valley,
Radiator Springs Racers, the Cozy Cone Motel and more.
Plus, the float will come to life with a bouncing tire from Luigi’s Flying Tires, a bubbling “Original Radiator Spring,” real waterfalls and smoke-puffing baby tractors. Be sure to tune in to the parade January 1, 2013 on ABC-TV to see all the amazing features for yourself!
To visit the Disneyland Resort, Parent Connection members can purchase discounted tickets here.
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