Many people really enjoy shopping during the holiday season. After all, gift-giving is a long standing holiday tradition, one that most Americans participate in.
Holiday time is also a hectic time and the hustle and bustle of the season can leave people vulnerable to theft and holiday crimes. That’s why we’ve generated this list of holiday shopping safety tips for your protection this season.
When actually shopping do the following to avoid theft or crime:
- Make sure you have a record of all your credit cards and other important information stored in a safe place in case your cards, purse or wallet get stolen.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible.
- If you must shop at night, shop with a friend.
- Stay alert to your surroundings. Even though you are excited or in a hurry, be aware of what’s happening around you.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Don’t be visible to others with your cash when you are paying for things.
- Try to pay by check or credit card.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry.
- Be extra careful when carrying a wallet or purse as they are prime targets for thieves.
- Be wary of strangers that approach you as this can be a distraction designed to allow someone to pick your pocket or to steal your belongings.
- Don’t overload yourself with packages. Make sure you can see clearly and have freedom of movement so you can respond to critical situations.
- Save all receipts so you can verify credit card and bank statements.
When parking your car do the following to avoid theft and crime:
- Keep all doors locked and windows closed while in or away from your car.
- Use your car alarm or anti-theft device if needed.
- Park in well-lighted areas when shopping at night and avoid parking next to trucks with camper shells, vans or cars with tinted windows.
- Park as close as you can to the store or mall entrance.
- Never, ever leave your car unlocked and unoccupied with the motor running.
- Get your keys out so you are ready to open the car before you leave the store or mall.
- Don’t approach your car if there are suspicious people around it, or if something feels wrong or out of place to you.
- If you are carrying a purse or bags, don’t put them on the hood or roof of the car. Doing so makes it too easy for people to grab them and run.
- Store packages in your trunk or in non-visible locations of your car. Don’t leave things out in the open for thieves to see and steal.
- Ask mall or store security to escort you to your car.
When shopping online do these things to avoid theft and crime:
- Check to ensure that your computer security is up-to-date and working correctly. Make sure you have anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti –spam security software and a good firewall.
- Do not respond to requests to “verify your password” or any personal information unless you initiated the contact.
- Shop with companies you trust. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
- Shop only on secure websites.
All of us at My Alarm Center want you to have a safe, happy holiday season. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe while shopping!