The Christmas and New Year season are an amazing time filled with parties and celebrations. But, unfortunately its usually the time of year when there is a surge in robberies and theft. Unfortunately, most thiefs are opportunists. They are on the look out for an unlocked car, a home that appears easy to break into or an open purse in a cart. They want an easy target; they don’t want to get caught! It can be all too easy to get into a rush and become prone to absent-mindedness during the holiday season.
Some quick, easy tips can help you avoid becoming an easy target for a thief this holiday season:
Smart Online Shopping
A tremendous amount of our Christmas shopping is now done online. Its great; it makes getting the best prices quick and easy. Unfortunately, some websites are not armed with a secured checkout system and could expose you to credit and bank account hackers. I speak from experience. Three years ago my bank account was hacked two weeks before Christmas. Very Stressful!! So, check to be sure there are security settings in place when shopping online, especially with smaller online vendors!
2. Clutch That Handbag!
An old favorite of the opportunistic thief. You leave you purse in the cart, walking around with it open, hang it off the back of a chair. Before you know it, your wallets gone, the change you tossed in your purse has been grabbed or the whole purse is gone! Those thieves, they move quickly, often undetected and always to the dismay of their victims. Keep your handbag zipped/buckled and under your arm. Consider switching to a purse that is more comfortable to carry and secure if yours is hard to keep closed and on your arm.
3. Parking Lot Plan of Action
It seems simple, “Don’t leave valuables in your car”, but its a rule that can be a challenge. This is a practice that is best made a habit for everyone! Make it a habit that everyone helps bring everything into the house upon arrival. Consider not storing presents in the car during a day long shop-a-thon. Make it a rule that no one bring anything on an outing they are not willing to carry with them. Park in the garage at home if possible. Having a car broken into is costly and upsetting enough, but if you lose cash, smart devices, expensive gifts; that makes it far worse!
4. Avoid Delivery Disaster
Track deliveries and be aware of what dates you expect to receive packages. It’s a good idea to bring packages in as quickly as possible and keep track of deliveries so you can identify when a package is missing. Delivery thefts are a big problem during the holidays, so bring packages in quickly or have a neighbor or friend stop by if you can’t.
5. Secure The House While Traveling
If you plan to travel for the holidays a few easy preparations could make all the difference. Arrange for a neighbor to bring in packages, papers, check on the house and possibly park in your driveway while you are gone. Close curtains and blinds. Don’t let someone scouting out your house window shop and decide yours is the house to hit. Sign-up for a holiday patrol with the local police department. Many local law enforcement agencies offer these and are very good about carefully checking your home regularly. And always arm your security system!
6. Post Responsibly
Receiving a big expensive gift or an extravagant Christmas vacation can be very exciting. The first thing you want to do is post all about it on social media. But wait! Its not a great idea to advertise these things, particularly while you are out of town. Be smart and cautious about what you post especially if you do not have privacy limitations on who can view your profiles.
Plain and simple, its worth slowing down along the way to make some quick security and safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings when out and take the time to prepare for travel in advance! Costly mistakes and oversights seem to happen often when we get ourselves in a hurry and simple tasks are forgotten!
Have a Safe & Merry Christmas!