A Sense of Security for Holiday Shoppers..
The holiday season is just around the corner and many of you will be doing a lot of online shopping in the next few weeks. There are many obvious benefits to online shopping, but have you taken a moment to think about the security downfalls?
Did you know that approximately 15 million U.S. residents have their identities stolen each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion? That’s probably a good enough reason to think about getting some sort of identity protection, wouldn’t you agree? In addition to that problem, online shoppers should be aware of the much more likely chance of their packages being stolen right off of their porches during this season. Simply stated, thieves are attracted to the shear volume of parcels being dropped at doorsteps and because of this, they have a much better chance of locating a vulnerable house that doesn’t have the security parameters to deter them away. What’s even worse is the fact that some of these thieves are actually breaking into homes during this time because they believe that the homeowners will have new and valuable items still in the manufacturer’s packaging, making it easier for them to resell the items on the street for quick cash.
Here’s some tips to consider this season..
- Shop during daylight hours and always be aware of your surroundings. If you notice someone is following you, don’t hesitate to call 911 and have an officer meet you. Often times, someone who has the intent to do something such as robbery, will be easily scared away when they see the authorities.
- Be sure to set your alarm when you leave your home. Check all your windows and doors to be sure they are locked while you are away shopping.
- Hide your gifts. Don’t place them near windows or doors where someone can see them and will be enticed to break in. Use closets, your attic, or anywhere out of sight for that matter.
- Be sure to keep your vehicles locked as well. Car break-ins are much higher during the shopping season, and it’s often because they’re looking for money and / or new items left in the trunk after a long day of shopping. If you have security cameras on your home, be sure to park in the line of sight so a potential trespasser will be discouraged from attempting to rob you.
- Be cautious about what you post on social media. It can be loads of fun to check-in at your favorite retailer and show all of your friends the tremendous deals you are getting; but as you are broadcasting your location, someone could easily be encouraged to sneak their way into your home while you’re not there. If you are going to post something, why not post an image of you waiving at the security cameras in your driveway, letting everyone know about the new security you’ve installed in your home.. It’s probably safe to say that would cause a lack in interest.
- Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Be sure to use complex passwords, making it harder for someone to guess their way into your personal information. Take caution before just clicking on any link you see. These can often times be a way to load a virus or malware into your computer. Try to stick with the trusted sites you know.
- Keep an eye on your credit score and reports as much as possible. This is a great way to monitor whether there has been any fraudulent activity regarding your personal information.
Being prepared for the holidays is more than just a matter of sending cards and cleaning your home rigorously before all your visitors stop by; it’s also about taking all the security measures to ensure that you and your family can enjoy the holidays with peace-of-mind.