Holiday shopping can mean joyful gift giving, but it’s also a cause of stress for many in November and December. The risks are many, including busy store parking lots, crowds vying for sought-after items, suspicious websites and opportunistic thieves looking for a target. Here are ways you can stay safe, whether you’re shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas Eve.
Black Friday Shopping Tips
- Consider bringing only what you need with you. If your purse gets stolen or lost, someone looking to steal your identity could take advantage of all the information inside.
- If you need to bring packages to your car halfway through doing your shopping, make sure to hide them well and don’t leave them in your car where passersby can see them. It may be too inviting for thieves to break into your car to steal them.
- Keep your purse in front of you or your wallet in your front pocket to help deter pickpockets. If possible, use a cross-body style purse or bag to avoid having to put your purse down and to keep it closer to your body.
Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
- If you’re shopping online, make sure to only use credit cards rather than debit cards. Credit cards provide better protection against fraud in the event your information is stolen.
- Only shop at online sites that are secure and that include https in the store’s web address. The “s” in the URL is what tells you the site is secure.
- Monitor your credit card activity more closely after doing holiday shopping online. Report suspicious activity to your credit card company, and consider checking your credit report after all your holiday shopping is finished.
Additional Holiday Shopping Tips
- Having packages delivered? Beware of thieves looking to steal them from your doorstep. Consider requesting delivery drivers leave packages in a safe location or opt to pick them up from delivery facilities.
- Avoid parking in secluded areas when out shopping. Keep your keys in your hands when walking to your car, and don’t buy more than you can easily carry. Additionally, try to park in well-lit areas close to the doors of the store you’re visiting.
- Include extra time in your schedule to get to and from places during the holiday season. Extra traffic and people who are in a hurry means drivers may be paying less attention on the roads and in parking lots. Use extra caution.