Black Friday Shopping: Don’t Be a Target for Theft
The spending season has begun. Black Friday has arrived, and the sales have started. People will be pulling out their cash savings with their gift list ready. Sadly, it is also a season when robbery and theft tend to spike. It is a time of opportunity for criminals. Here are a few tips to try and make your season a little safer and avoid being a target for theft.
The good news is that just about everyone accepts your bank card. The need to carry cash around is becoming obsolete. If you are that rare person, keep it minimal. Also, if you are planning a big shopping day out, go through your wallet and take out your non-essentials. In the event that your wallet gets stolen, you don’t want 4 credit cards being taken. It is also a good idea to have a record at home for the 1-800 numbers to your card companies if the time ever comes when you need to cancel the card in the case of theft.
What about the stories you may have heard about criminals skimming your credit card just in passing? Research shows that there is not a real risk of that happening. When you’re out shopping, the best way to protect your wallet is to be aware of your surroundings and not to make yourself a target for theft. Park and stay in areas that are busy with people and well-lit. Store your packages in the trunk so that they won’t be seen. Shop with friends, so that you won’t be alone.
Due to the pandemic at the moment, shopping is leaning toward online purchases more. Keep that credit card information safe by following a couple of tips. Use only websites that are secured and use an “https:” in their web address. This will tell you that the website connection is encrypted and sensitive information is secure. Don’t ever click on a link in an email that is asking for information. It is wise to go directly to the institution’s website and follow up there. Phishing emails looking for your personal information have become very sly in mimicking your bank or other valid companies you use.
It is suggested that you use a credit card rather than your debit card for online purchases, due to the extent of fraud protection given between the two. With your debit card, your own money is on the line as opposed to the card issuer. Some banks and credit card companies will even generate burner card numbers for you to use online. That way, in the case of a security breach, your personal credit card information is not leaked.
After the Holidays
After the gift-giving rush is over, the clean-up begins. The number one rule recommended by the police is not to leave your gift boxes stacked outside by the garbage cans. You are basically letting thieves know all the new items in the house and it becomes a target for theft. Instead, break them down and wait until recycling day to put them out there. The same idea should be applied inside the home also. When you are gone, don’t leave valuables out where they can be seen if you look in the windows.
If you happen to be out of town, ask neighbors or friends to do a drive-by of your house to remove papers, flyers, or mail that may pile up. Even better, having a home security system in place will eliminate much of the worry of leaving your house on its own. Monitoring your home 24/7 will ensure that all stays well, and if there is an emergency, responders and your contacts will be put in place immediately. Contact us at Allied Home Security to help you get these precautions in place so you can have a truly safe and happy end of the year. Don’t let yourself or your home become a target when things get hectic. Let us make it possible for you to have one less worry!