As the holidays approach us, we are sharing some safety tips to help keep our Members safe throughout this holiday season! Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid-January, when families gather, parties are scheduled, and travel spikes. Take some basic precautions to ensure your family remains safe throughout the season.
Shopping for loved ones during the holiday season can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. If you are out shopping, make sure to keep these things top of mind to ensure a safe and successful trip to the shops: make sure to stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you. Also, try to avoid carrying large amounts of cash—if possible, pay with a check or credit card. To deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages and be extra careful with purses and wallets. If you use a purse, carry it close to your body, not dangling by the straps. For wallets, put them inside coats or front pants pockets. If you have younger children, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
If you are making multiple stops on your way home from the store, try to park in a well-lit space, and always be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide any shopping bags and gifts in the trunk. If those packages are left out in the open, your car has become a likely target for thieves.
We know that many of you might do a good portion of your shopping online. Recently, a few large companies have been victims of data breaches, which have potentially exposed the personal data of millions of customers. To keep your information safe, make sure you change your passwords regularly and avoid saving credit card information on websites. Most financial institutions offer a feature that will alert you any time your credit card is used online—we recommend turning this feature on so that you can keep an eye out for suspicious account activity. Consider installing reputable computer security anti-virus programs and firewalls. Above all, always be vigilant when online and be wary of any “phishing” attempts.
Door-to-door Donations and Deliveries
Be very wary of any strangers who might come to your door this holiday season. Criminals can sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts, so be cautious when accepting packages. It’s also not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others’ generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations, even when there’s no charity involved. Ask for identification and find out how the funds will be used. If you aren’t satisfied, don’t give—help a charitable organization you know and like instead.
It is our sincere hope that all of our Members and their loved ones have an amazing, enjoyable, and safe 2018 holiday season!
Formerly authored by Peter T. at Partners