To help consumers and businesses avoid some of the most common types of theft, The Travelers Companies, a provider of property casualty insurance, recommends focusing on five areas in which theft spikes during the holiday season. This includes identity fraud, burglaries from the home or car, customer data taken through cyber breaches, in-store theft and cargo-related robberies.

“There are so many distractions that come with the holidays that it may be easy to overlook steps that can help you protect your belongings and your business,” Marty Henry, senior vice president, Risk Control at Travelers, said in a statement. “Since theft often becomes a larger issue around the holiday season, it is a good time to remind individuals and business owners to take extra precautions to help stay safe.”

To help avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, Travelers recommends reviewing credit reports now and after the New Year, closely reviewing credit card statements, monitoring mail, keeping a close eye on your wallet and purse while shopping, and carrying only those credit cards you need.

Claim data from Travelers shows that belongings stolen from parked cars increases by about 20 percent on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Travelers recommends keeping items, including purchased gifts, out of plain sight; parking in well-lit, safe areas; locking car doors and rolling up the windows.

Retailers should be diligent in protecting their business from theft by evaluating daily transactions and reviewing security cameras each day, as well as conducting background checks on all prospective employees, Travelers says.

The firm says businesses can help guard against cyber attacks by having a risk management plan in place that includes understanding the level of sensitivity of the data the company has stored; evaluating the company’s systems and how to protect them; and setting up an incident response team that can quickly respond to a data breach.

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