Public Safety: What kind of a holiday shopper are you? Shopping safety tips from the BPD

By Police Staff

Do you shop year-round for bargains on items that ultimately will be passed on at the holiday time? Are you a last-minute shopper on Christmas Eve or are you the typical buyer who makes most of their holiday purchases between the end of October and mid-December? No matter which category you fit into, safety related to how you shop, particularly online is paramount.

Shop at websites you trust.

Brick and mortar stores who also offer an online shopping component are generally safe. The same holds true for those sites readily recognizable by the general populous. It is when you are browsing online and come across an “interesting” unheard of business that you must tread carefully.

  • Avoid public Wi-Fi: Most people understand that you and your information are at great risk when you are using a public site that is open and available to anyone.
  • Create strong passwords: This reduces the chance that someone can kidnap your information.
  • Confirm websites security: Small icon in the corner of your URL field confirms privacy protection as does an “s” after “http”.
  • Credit card payment is preferable: Most major credit cards off $0 liability. Debit card purchases that turn out to be fraudulent could cost you out of pocket expenses especially if you don’t report it within 48 hours. Other perks from cc companies (extended warranties etc.) may make it the smartest option.
  • Check statements: You are looking for fraudulent activity. Report such findings as soon as possible.
  • Delivery options: We all know that the bad guys are checking out your porch for delivered packages that they can steal. Consider getting a mail drop, sending to neighbor who you know will be home, to your work location or to other locked option provided by some mail order services.

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