While you are waiting in lines, trying to get your loved ones presents, keep in mind what thieves may be thinking. Shopping in crowded stores? A good time for thieves to ‘accidentally’ bump into you to take your wallet or purse. Shopping online? A good time for malicious e-mails from thieves trying to get your bank account information. Traveling? A good time for thieves to monitor your social media posts to know exactly when you won’t be home.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay safe during the holidays:
- Watch Out for Porch Pirates
Theft of packages from front porches and stoops increase as online shopping drives more home deliveries during the holidays. Take advantage of electronic delivery alerts and other protections to make sure your gifts are safely delivered — and received.
- Beware of Parking Lot Pilfering
While you’re in the mall purchasing gifts for your friends and family, thieves may be roaming through the parking lot looking to steal valuable items in unlocked cars. Shoppers should remember to always lock their doors, park in well-lit areas and hide valuables from plain view.
- Protect Your Identity, Both Online and in Stores
Before you go shopping, think about how much information a thief would get his hands on if your wallet or purse was stolen. Avoid carrying Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports unless absolutely necessary. When shopping online, be sure to only use a secure website, log off from that site after you have completed your purchase, and monitor your bank accounts and credit card activity regularly throughout the holidays.
- Travel Safely
The holiday season brings a number of unique driving risks. During this time of year, we have difficult weather conditions, limited daylight and drivers in unfamiliar areas. By planning extra travel time and eliminating distractions, you can help ensure safe travels during the holidays.
- Prevent a Home Fire – Use Candles Wisely
Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Dec. 23. are three of the top five days for home fires caused by candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and do not put any candles or open flames near Christmas trees or other holiday decorations that could quickly spark a fire in your home.