Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Safety Tips

While it’s the most wonderful time of year for many, criminals are also quite busy plotting to find their next victim. Whether we're shopping offline or online, we should maintain a high level of alertness to avoid becoming the next victim of a crime. With my 20+ years of experience in the security field, I have compiled a list of simple tips you can use to help protect yourself, so criminals don’t steal your holiday cheer this Christmas.

Check out some tips below to keep you safe during the holiday season.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions. Pay attention to everything and everyone around you.
  2. Always lock your car and park in well-lit areas.
  3. Pay with a credit card rather than cash. As pick pocketers are looking for easy targets, keep credit cards, including your cell phone in your front pockets.
  4. Carry a small purse such as a cross-body. Be sure to keep your purse close to your body and not loosely slung over your shoulder.
  5. It is better to wear sneakers rather than heels in case you need to run or defend yourself.
  6. Keep pepper spray on hand in case the need arises.
  7. Carry a little light on your keychain if you are shopping at night.
  8. When leaving a store, just say no to those asking for cash donations. It is possible that criminals are watching when you place cash in a donation bucket, especially at night.
  9. Travel in pairs of two or more and remember where you parked your car. You don’t want to find yourself aimlessly looking for your vehicle.
  10. Place shopping bags in your trunk, not exposed on the seats in your car.

Cyber Monday kicks off online shopping for the holidays. It’s a great time to receive the latest deals on some of your favorite gift items, however it can also be a time of heightened fraudulent activity to unsuspecting online shoppers.

Here are some cybersecurity tips to keep in mind when shopping online.

  1. Be sure to have the latest security updates on your devices.
  2. Keep your login credentials secure with strong passwords, the longer, the better.
  3. Use multi-factor authentication, tools such as biometrics, or one-time codes.
  4. Think before you click, only shop on legitimate websites that are secure, and be weary of unfamiliar text messages and emails, as phishing scams are rampant.
  5. Using a pre-paid card will help you limit putting your main credit cards online.
  6. Monitor your bank and credit card activity to identify any fraudulent transactions.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Be safe and enjoy the holiday season.