The holiday season is fast approaching which means many Connecticut residents will be heading to the stores and to their computers to do holiday shopping. With our busy lives becoming more chaotic during the holiday season, many people forget some basic personal safety measures they should be taking.
The Connecticut State Police provided the following safety tips for shopping at stores and online. Following these tips can greatly reduce the opportunity criminals have to target you, your family, and your property.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips
- Lock your cars while shopping and while parked at home. Always move valuables out of sight.
- Shop with friends and family. Remember that there’s safety in numbers.
- Never leave your vehicle running when you go into a store.
- Never leave children unattended in the store or alone in a vehicle (This could lead to criminal charges).
- Teach your children about stranger safety.
- Keep your purse close to you. Carry your wallet in your front pocket.
- Don’t leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart.
- Have your keys out when approaching your vehicle.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep purchased merchandise in your trunk and out of view.
- Park in a well-lit area if shopping at night.
- Alert store security or police if you see an unattended bag.
- Alert store security or police if you notice someone acting suspiciously.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Only give cash to someone at a register. Be alert for criminals posing as employees.
- Be alert for strangers or con-artists distracting you while another person takes your purse or wallet.
Online Shopping Safety Tips
- Make sure the computer has updated security software, anti-virus protection, spyware protection, and active firewalls.
- Keep your login usernames and passwords secure.
- Only shop from secure websites. Look for the padlock icon in the URL or at the bottom of the screen. Also make sure the URL starts with https://.
- Only shop from reputable companies (i.e. Amazon.com, Macys.com, Bestbuy.com, etc.). Look for tricks in the URL such as Amazon.net, Bestbye.com, Maceys.com.
- Never send personal information via email to “verify” information. Legitimate companies and banks would never ask customers to do this by email.
- Online shopping companies do not need your social security number. Asking for your SSN is a red flag.
- Save receipts and email confirmations for purchases made online.
- Check bank statements to double-check transactions and identify any suspicious activity.