Each month, the Identity Theft Resource Center hosts an informative Twitter chat on ways to protect the public from fraud and scams. Be sure to join us for our monthly Twitter chat on Thursday, December 4th, at 2pm ET/11am PT. Our co-host this month is LifeLock, and we’ll be taking a closer look at how consumers can best protect their data and their identities at this busy time of year, especially while they’re out catching up on their holiday shopping.

It was at this time last year that one of the largest ever retail data breaches took place, affecting millions of consumers’ credit card information and personal data. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as consumers were busy preparing for the holiday season, a fact that makes experts wonder if we’re in for another lucrative, large scale breach before the year is over. Our co-hosts will be talking about ways consumers and businesses can safeguard their data from hackers and scammers in the coming weeks.

Some of the questions that we’ll be addressing during the chat include:

  1. Chapman University says having your identity stolen on the Internet is a top fear of Americans. Is this a top fear for you, too? Why or why not?
  2. What are you doing differently this holiday season to keep your credit and debit cards safe?
  3. Where will you do most of your holiday shopping—in stores or online?
  4. Are you more likely to use your debit card or credit card when shopping, or do you stick with the mainstays of cash or checks—and why?
  5. Are you a last-minute shopper, an early-bird, or somewhere in the middle? More importantly, how does that affect your identity threat?
  6. Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year—and why?
  7. How often do you check your bank and credit card accounts to make sure all transactions are legitimate?
  8. Have you ever made a purchase or checked your bank account using your smartphone on free, public wifi?
  9. How often do you update your financial account passwords?
  10. Does anyone wait till AFTER the holidays to do their shopping?

In order to participate in this informative event on December 4th, users must log into their Twitter accounts and follow the hashtag #IDTheftChat. For your convenience, you may also log into the #IDTheftChat TweetChat room by going to http://tweetchat.com/room/IDTheftChat after signing into your Twitter account. Be sure to type “#IDTheftChat” at the end of each of your tweets so that others may see your comments and questions, and search for that hashtag to read all of the information on the topic of holiday shopping safety.

Be sure to also follow the Identity Theft Resource Center on Twitter (@ITRCSD) and LifeLock (@LifeLock) for great information that will help you protect yourself and your loved ones from internet crimes throughout the year.