Stay Safe While Shopping this Holiday Season
While the holiday season may look a bit different this year because of COVID-19, many families will still be shopping for gifts for loved ones. Keep in mind the below safety tips to ensure your holiday season stays a happy one.
Shop Online Instead
Crowded malls and shopping centers pose an increased risk of spreading COVID-19. Consider shopping online rather than in person. And don’t forget to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals.
- Choose carefully where you shop. Shop with trusted retailers and online websites that you are familiar with.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card for online payments.
- Only provide enough details to complete checkout.
- Shop on secure sites only. Look for the “https” at the beginning or the url.
- Don’t re-use passwords. Make sure the passwords you use are unique and complex.
- Watch out for suspicious emails, calls and text messages.
- Shop on a secure wireless network. Using public Wi-Fi to shop online while at your favorite coffee shop is tremendously convenient, but it is not cyber safe. Don’t make purchases via public Wi-Fi
- Always park in well-lit areas and lock all your doors.
- Remove valuable electronics or packages from sight.
- Avoid parking near vehicles with covered cargo areas.
- Avoid carrying large handbags.
- Look around the parking lot for suspicious persons before you exit your vehicle.
- Don’t get out of your vehicle until you are ready. If you don’t feel safe, stay in the car or drive away.
- Keep your money and credit cards in your front pocket and limit the number of cards and cash you’re carrying.
- To avoid “identity theft”, be aware of exposing credit cards, debit cards, and other identification at the cash register and ATM’s. Thieves can scan your card information without your knowledge.
- Be cognizant of “distraction” crimes; one person gets your attention as another reaches into your purse.
Returning to Your Car
- Never leave the store with your arms full of packages.
- Have your car key in hand, ready to unlock your door.
- Do not return to your vehicle if you see people loitering nearby.
- Check the front and rear passenger seats inside your car before you enter it.
- Carry a whistle or other audible device. If you feel threatened, use it. Inside your vehicle, lock your doors and honk your horn to attract attention.