Take Safety Precautions While Shopping for the Holidays

FThe holidays tend to be a busy time for everyone – people are doing a lot of shopping and they’re distracted.  Unfortunately, thieves often prey on unsuspecting victims.​

​​​When going to malls and other stores​​

When you’re out shopping in public, follow these simple tips to help minimize your risk:
    1. Park in a well-lighted area as close to the store entrance as you can.
    2. Don’t carry a lot of cash
    3. Don’t put your purse in your cart
    4. Anytime you buy a lot of valuables or large gifts, hide them in your trunk so they are out of sight

When shopping online

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself and your wallet from fraud and theft:  
    1. package hidden under welcome matThwart porch pirates: When ordering online, have packages delivered to a secure location. This could be your workplace or in-store pickup instead of leaving them in the open at your home.
    2. While shopping online, look for the padlock: Use a secure Internet connection when making a purchase by ensuring there is a little padlock icon in the address bar or a URL that starts with "https" instead of "http." The "s" stands for "secure." Some browsers will tell you it's safe to give out your credit card by showing you a green address bar, while unprotected ones will be highlighted in red. 
    3. Use a secure payment method: Only shop on sites that take secure payment methods, such as credit cards and PayPal, as they likely provide buyer protection in the event of a dispute.  
    4. Password pointers: A strong password is at least eight characters long, has a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and utilizes both uppercase and lowercase characters. Change passwords routinely or use a password management app. 
    5. Do your research: When on marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, check the seller's reputation and read comments about other’s shopping experiences before buying.
    6. Avoid shopping on hotspots: Try not to do any online shopping when you're using a public computer or when you're using a public Wi-Fi network (at a coffee shop or in a hotel lobby). You never know if your information is being tracked and logged.​

Finally, don’t advertise all the tempting new stuff in your house. After the holidays, be mindful about throwing away boxes for large electronics like televisions. Leaving them on the curb amounts to highlighting your home as an attractive target for a burglary. Break down boxes and place them inside your recycling can.

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