“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” ~ Arthur Ashe
The countdown to Christmas has begun, and soon we’ll be shopping for loved ones and baking up holiday treats. For many, this is a joyous time to reflect on how we’ve been blessed this year and to spend quality time with friends and family. But for others, this can be an incredibly trying time. The economy is still recovering and many people’s struggle with hunger, homelessness, and poverty is exacerbated during the holiday season. Each year, I am compelled to do what I can to help by volunteering my time or donating money to reputable charities.
As the requests for donations begin to flood my inbox and social media channels, I struggle with discriminating between those that are legit and those that are fraudulent. LifeLock offers some helpful tips on safely donating to charitable organizations online:
1.If you receive an urgent request to donate and you don’t recognize the sender, simply delete the mail to avoid downloading a virus or falling prey to a phishing scheme. If the email appears to be sent by a reputable charity, call the phone number to donate or speak with the charity.
2. Rather than clicking on a link sent to you via email, type in the web address of the organization you want to donate money to. Clone sites can mimic real websites to get your personal and financial information.
3. When donating online, be sure the website URL begins with “https” which offers a lower risk of security breaches.
4. Do your homework. Do not trust third party websites where scams can rob you of your personal information.
5. Remember that identity thieves can access your personal information via pre-approved credit card mail offers, personal and financial information thrown in the trash, and unsolicited emails requesting personal data.
Once again, you can enter the LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes via Facebook to enter to win prizes. This month, in keeping with the theme of donating online safely, LifeLock is giving away 5 ($100) donations and 1 ($1,000) donation to the charity of your choice.