Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

The holiday season is a time of gift giving to all of your loved ones. With every gift brings countless hours spent shopping at the mall and online. It is important to know how to protect yourself and your family from criminals online and at the mall. With everything going on, its easy to not pay attention to small things that don’t seem right. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and your family wherever you shop during the holidays. Mall

The first tip is to take care of yourself. Drink plenty of water before going to the mall to stay hydrated. It is important to stay hydrated so you don’t pass out from dehydration. The mall and stores can be crowded around the holidays. Dress in layers so you can take layers off when you get hot or cold. While shopping, try to go with someone else. Power in numbers! You will have an extra set of eyes to see what is going on around you. When going to the mall or any store, make sure to give yourself extra time to get to your destination. You are less likely to be rushed and not paying attention. When parking your car, keep theses safely tips in mind.

Keep a first-aid kit in the trunk of your car. It is important if you get stranded somewhere or someone gets hurt to have all the right equipment. When you park your car, make sure to park in a well-lit area. Parking in a dark parking lot with no lights makes it easier for someone to sneak up on you. Don’t park next to a big truck or van. Big vans can block your view when getting out of your parking space. Make sure to lock your car doors and close all windows so no one is able to steal anything from your car. Always keep your packages or anything valuable in your trunk. If visible, this will tempt criminals to help themselves to anything in your car. When leaving the mall, always have your keys already in your hand and don’t be on your cell phone. You won’t be distracted fumbling through your purse not paying attention to who is around you. Keep all your valuables close to you while your shopping. rco_blog_img_Santa

When shopping, always keep your a purse or wallet close to you at all times. Keep your wallet in your front pocket. It is easy for criminals to grab your wallet if your wallet is located in your back pocket. Be audacious of strangers approaching you. They do this to distract you and steal your wallet or purse. Know your surroundings and see who is around you. Many thieves are well dressed or could be that sweet old lady. The mall can be crowded and hot with all the people. If you see anything suspicious, call the police or talk to local police on duty. Know where the closest exits and entrances are located . This is important if there is a fire or any other kind of emergency.  Make sure to keep yourself safe with these helpful tips, but also teach your family members and friends ways to stay safe during the holidays.

Teach your children even from a young age to stay safe when going to the mall or any public place. Make sure they stay close to you at all times. Children must ask permission to go anywhere with you or check in with you. Teach your children that they should go to a safe public place like a store and talk to a store clerk or police officer and ask for help if they get lost. Make sure they know their home address and phone number so the police know who to contact if they get lost. Talk to them about the importance of not talking to strangers even if they look nice. With the increased amount of online shopping this holiday season, here are some ways to stay safe. Internet

There are alot of sites online with sales and deals, but some of them can be fake. Trust you instincts. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Do not feel pressured to buy anything. Make sure to comparison shop to get an idea of how much the item really costs. Only go on trusted websites. Do not pay for anything that is not on a secured website. Only  use sites with SSL ( secure socket layer). It’s a secure network that will have the address HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP://. It will have a lock on the status bar or bottom of web browser to show its a secured website. Always read the fine print of everything your buying.

Read the return policy before buying anything. Its better to know to know before you spend your money and don’t get your money back.  Do not give away any personal information. They never need to know your social security number or your birthday. Never email someone your credit card number or any other personal information. The final tip is to have fun during the holidays and enjoy this magical time with your family!

Sources

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit/anatomy

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373130,00.asp

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-01/cyber-monday-shopping-rises-9-as-online-sales-slow.html

http://www.bpdny.org/Home/Prevention/ShoppingSafetyTips

http://www.safeshopping.org/tips.shtml

http://www.lapdonline.org/crime_prevention/content_basic_view/1376

http://www.ncpc.org/topics/violent-crime-and-personal-safety/strangers

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