The holidays are a “season to be jolly” and a time when people let their guard down. This means that, for thieves, the holidays are a “season to steal.” In some areas, December is the peak month for burglaries, so use these holiday safety tips to keep your gifts and your family safe.
Be Cautious When Shopping
Shoppers hunting for bargains at the mall can be the perfect prey for pickpockets, so don’t make their job easier!
Women should avoid carrying a purse, if possible. If not, use a shoulder bag and carry it close to your body, preferably in front. That makes it harder for a thief to snatch it or cut the strap. Men should consider slipping their wallet into a front pocket instead of the back. You’re a lot more likely to notice even the lightest-fingered thief trying to grab something out of the front pocket.
Spend a little extra on a wallet with RFID protection. A pickpocket never has to touch your pocket if he can read your credit card information with his smartphone or a homemade RFID reader.
Keep all your receipts and match them with credit card and bank statements. Credit card skimming is an even easier way to steal, and it’s a lot harder to catch the thieves. In the rush of shopping, people are anxious to get through the line quickly, but pay attention to who has your card and what they’re doing with it.
Keep Your Packages Safe
Package theft is a crime of opportunity, and the holidays offer plenty of opportunities. Shoppers deposit packages in their cars, and then go back into stores to buy more. Online shoppers have packages delivered to their doorsteps – where the boxes may sit unattended for hours.
Always place packages and gifts in the trunk of your car and lock the doors. If there’s no trunk, bring a cover for the items – something nondescript, like a blanket or grocery bags.
Packages delivered to your doorstep are more difficult to protect. Home security cameras trained on the porch can help identify thieves, but might not stop them from stealing your stuff. If you purchase a rare or valuable item online, consider alternate delivery options like UPS AccessPoints or Amazon Lockers.
Be Careful What You Share on Social Media
Thieves and stalkers love social media! It’s a free tool that lets them track their targets, predict their movements, and even pinpoint when they’re far from home.
When you “check in” at your company’s holiday party or post selfies from the slopes, you’re telling the world that your house is fair game. And those happy pictures of family and friends opening gifts? You’re handing burglars an inventory list of great things to steal.
If you want to share gift photos with family and friends, do it in a private way (email, USPS, or private messages) instead of making it public on social media.
Stay Safe at Home
Thieves are also active after the holidays, and can get important information just by driving through residential areas on garbage day. Boxes for computers, big screen TVs, and other valuable items advertise what’s available inside the house. Break down boxes and put them inside opaque garbage bags.
Remember to keep your security system armed at all times – even when you’re at home. It protects your home and your family by alerting you (and the call center) to suspicious activity. GetSafe offers no contract home alarm monitoring systems that are perfect for renters. Buy only what you need and expand the system when you move to a bigger place.
We hope these holiday safety tips make your season festive, fun, and safe!