Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Shopping

When you are out shopping during the holidays, either at the Mall or local shops, or even taking a break for lunch, we want to encourage you to stay safe and prevent theft.  Here are a few tips to help make your holidays less stressful.

1. Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat pocket or front pants pocket while shopping. Avoid using a backpack.  You'll never feel a sneaky thief opening pockets if you are standing in line or in a crowd.

2. Keep your cash hidden in your wallet until it is time to pay at the register.

3. Hide shopping bags/boxes in the trunk of your car.  If you only have a hatch, be sure to cover up the items with a blanket or by other means.

4. Keep an eye on your surroundings, especially if you are shopping during evening hours.  Park in a well-lit parking lot and if you do not feel safe, ask store security or an employee to escort you to your vehicle.

5. If you are in a crowded parking area, use patience.  Avoid arguing over parking spaces or items in a store.  


CYBER SHOPPING

1. If you are online shopping, only use sites that have secure checkout and secure networks.

2. Protect your passwords and never give them to anyone. Change them often.

3. Do not click links that have been emailed to you, even if they look legitimate.  If you receive an email from a place where you have shopped, go to the legitimate website or call the business directly.  Do not use the phone number provided in the email.  This could go straight to a hacker. 

4. Always keep a record of your online transactions - this should include your receipt, order number, product description, price and tracking number.

5. If someone calls you claiming to be from your bank asking about transactions, NEVER give them information or share any verification code they may send you.  This is an opportunity for hackers to gain access to your bank account. Hang up and immediately call your bank (not the number that you were called from).

6. Know how to reach your bank or credit card providers to dispute a transaction you did not make.

7. Have someone in your household help you or call the police department if you believe you've been defrauded online. It's okay to ask for help!

8. Make sure your software is updated.

9. Never respond to emails or links that claim your funds did not go through on a purchase. Most sites, if not all, will make the transaction immediately to ship your product.  



Porch Pirates

If you are online shopping, don't let porch pirates steal your holidays!  We want to offer you a few tips to help thwart the thieves.  


1.  Have a visible camera on your porch.  Monitor the camera if you are expecting a package.


2. Have packages delivered to your work, post office box or a secured location.


3. In your deliver notes, ask the delivery services to try and hide the package in a concealed place.  Maybe behind a bush or piece of furniture.


4. Track your packages online.


5. Require a signature for packages, especially pricey items.


6. Ask neighbors to watch out for other neighbors.  If someone is home and they see a delivery come to your house, ask if they can bring it inside their home until you get home.


7. Do not order packages before you go out of town.  


8. Call 9-1-1 if you believe you've been the victim of a porch pirate.


9. Never leave packages or items in your car overnight.  Practice your 9PM Routine. Bring valuables inside and lock everything up!

Holiday Celebrations

1. Do not drink and drive.  Period.  If you have been drinking, call a ride-share service.

2. If you do want to go out and celebrate, have a designated driver.

3. Use ride-share services to get you to and from your destinations safely.

4. Always remember drinking and driving can be deadly - either to yourself, your passengers, or other drivers/families.