It seems like every year presents new security problems for holiday shoppers. Whether you’re shopping from the comfort of your living room or braving the crowds this season, exercising caution can prevent theft, injury, or worse. Being proactive will provide you with a sense of peace and allow you to celebrate the holiday season with joy and love instead of fear and worry.
Follow these safety tips for a holly jolly shopping experience this holiday season.
- Don’t shop after dark. If you must be out after dark, bring another person with you or park in a well-lit area. Remember, there is safety in numbers.
- Avoid wearing expensive items that might make you a target.
- Pay attention to your surroundings to avoid being surprised.
- If possible, leave your handbag at home. Keep any bags close to you and any over-the-shoulder straps in place to deter thieves.
- Don’t purchase more than you can easily carry to your car.
- Keep all your doors locked at home and in the car. Keep windows closed, too.
- Always carry your driver’s license or an identification card.
- Exercise caution at the ATM. Use ATMs that are indoors and protect your information by using your hand or body to shield the keypad. Never throw away a receipt at the ATM location.
- Wait until you are asked to hand out your credit card at a cash register. If you have your card out beforehand, a thief may be able to get the information by looking over your shoulder.
- In daytime or at night, have your car keys out before walking out to your car.
- If you have multiple errands to run, don’t leave purchases in a visible area of your car. Instead, lock them in the trunk or use something to cover them.
- Keep a list of wallet items at your home. Include information about the cards you carry and numbers associated with the cards. If your purse or wallet is stolen, you will know exactly who you need to notify to suspend transactions or services.
- Teach children who to trust in public. Instruct them to find a store clerk or police officer if they become separated. They should have their full name, telephone number, and address memorized.
- Always accompany children to the restroom.
- Monitor your receipts. While keeping receipts is a good practice year round, reconciling them with bank and credit card statements is particularly important during the holidays.
- Notify your bank or creditor immediately if you notice suspicious activity.
- Make sure your security software on your computer is up-to-date before making holiday purchases online.
- Always look for the padlock icon or “https” in your browser’s address bar to verify secure sites.
- Watch out for online prices that seem too good to be true. If you are unfamiliar with a company, do some research before purchasing from its site.
- Lock your mobile device. It is becoming more popular to purchase items and carry sensitive information on a smartphone. Keep your device locked to keep your information secure if it is stolen.
From all of us here at Ohio Injury Law, stay saft this Holiday Season and Happy Holidays!