Safe Shopping for the Holidays

If you haven’t started already, you’re probably about to start your holiday shopping. In fact, there are two major shopping events coming up: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Whether you hate shopping entirely, love a  journey through the mall or are a fan of online shopping, safety is important.

Brick-and-Mortar Shopping

  • Shop during daylight hours if possible. During the evening be sure to park in a well-lit area.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and beware of where you’re keeping your money (whether in a purse or pocket)
  • Keep track of your purchases and cross-reference them with credit/debit card statements.
  • Protect your pin when entering it. Report anything suspicious on your statements.
  • Avoid using an ATM if possible because they can be targets.
  • Have your keys ready before you leave the store so you can quickly and smoothly get into your car.
  • If shopping with children, teach them where to go if they are separated from you. Make sure they know their full name, address and telephone number to relay to security if they are lost/ afraid.

Cyber Shopping

  • Use your own private, encrypted Wi-Fi network. Public networks aren’t encrypted and make identity theft easier.
  • Pay attention to where you are purchasing things from. Use sites you trust and that look legitimate.
  • Use your laptop/desktop if you have one instead of your phone/ tablet. It’s easier to get malware on mobile devices that don’t have anti-virus software and similar safety features.
  • Look for “https” vs. “http” in URLs when checking out. Web sites named with “https” have an extra level of security.
  • Change your passwords regularly and don’t use the same one for all your online accounts.
  • Again, keep track of your purchases and cross-reference them with credit/debit card statements.

What do you do to keep yourself safe while you’re getting your holiday shopping done? Have you ever been pulled into a scam or been robbed during this season? We all want to learn to be safer shoppers.

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