Do you have some last minute holiday shopping to complete? Many of us do not recognize the dangers that come along with the shopping season, from identity theft to physical theft. Any time that you are making large purchases or sharing your personal information, you are at risk. However, there are a number of ways that you can stay safe during last-minute holiday shopping. From going out with friends to shopping with retailers you trust, you can ensure that you, your purchases, and your personal information remain safe and secure throughout your holiday shopping endeavors. Use these tips from All Secured to stay safe this holiday shopping season.
Online Shopping When it comes to shopping online, the biggest threat is stolen information. A number of factors can increase your risk for identity theft, such as shopping on sites you are not familiar with or on websites that are not secure. To ensure that your information stays safe, try to shop with companies you know and trust. When shopping with new online retailers, find background information on the company to ensure that they are legitimate. You should also only make purchases on secure websites. Secure websites are indicated by a URL containing “https” and a padlock icon at the bottom of your screen. In addition, you should avoid any deals that look too good to be true, especially if they come from companies that you have never heard of. If an online retailer asks you to “verify” either your credit card information or your password, you should ignore the request and cease doing business with them. A legitimate company would not make such a request and responding will likely lead to your information being stolen. Finally, remember that you also need to keep your computer safe from threats. Update your security software before shopping online, including your firewall, anti-spyware software, anti-virus software, and spam blocker.
Shopping in Stores If you are doing your last-minute holiday shopping in stores, there are multiple ways that you can keep yourself, your information, and your items safe from threats. When you shop in stores, first try to go with a friend who can help you carry your items, decreasing your risk as a target for theft. You should also save all receipts, keeping them in a secure location to verify your bank and credit card statements. Rather than using credit cards, shop with money orders or disposable credit cards to ensure maximum security for your personal information. Do not leave your credit card or checkbook out or available to the eyes of other customers. When walking to your car, you can also deter theft by keeping your wallet in your coat or front pant pocket and holding your purse close to you. When you get to your car, have your keys on hand, and always check the area first. Store items in your trunk, which should be locked. Never have visible items in the windows of your car and take them straight home if you can. By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and happy holiday.
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