The holiday season is a thief’s favorite time of year.
Part of being a savvy shopper is protecting your purchases (and your money) from would-be thieves.
Stay safe online
Only shop at secure, well-known online shopping sites. Look for the “https:” before you ever enter any personal information into a website. If an offer seems to good to be true, it probably is. Make sure to look for contact info and to research return policies before you buy.
Make sure your anti-virus software is current. You need to make sure you’re protected from viruses, spyware and intruders.
Print out all receipts so that if there is a discrepancy in your order it can be corrected.
Don’t use the same password for everything. Why make it easy for thieves to hack your accounts?
Use a credit card. Avoid using a debit card; They usually don’t offer the same level of protection against theft that credit cards do.
Stay safe offline
Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Carrying a lot of cash could make you an easy target for a thief.
Keep your purse closed and on your body at all times. A thief can easily pluck your purse from a shopping cart. They can also pluck your wallet out of your purse if you’re not paying attention.
Be aware of your surroundings. Wait until you’re safely locked inside your car before using your cell phone. Carry your keys pointed out (like a weapon) and walk quickly to your vehicle.
Use the buddy system. Avoid shopping alone, especially at night. If you must shop alone, try to avoid situations in which you are completely isolated. Stick to public places where help is available if you need it.
Keep your car doors locked and hide any purchases you’ve made. Don’t tempt thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight. If you’re dropping off a load of purchases and going back to shop, move your car after you do so. You don’t want to announce that you’ve just left a carload full of stuff unattended.
No one likes to think about bad stuff happening to them, but the sad fact is that it can. Being smart will help you stay safe.