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It’s that time of the year again, we are all busy getting gifts either at the Mall or On-Line. The bad guys are also very busy trying to get your “stuff” or your credit card information. I try to write every year about this time to update what you should be aware of.

Shopping at the Mall:

The most important thing that you can do is be aware of your surroundings. After that most of the other things are common sense. Try to park in a well-lighted area. Make multiple trips back to your vehicle so that you are not carrying multiple bags full of stuff. Put all your bags in your trunk and make sure that there is nothing out in the open inside your vehicle. Don’t be in such a rush that you forget to lock your car doors.

Try using a credit card not a debit card, credit cards offer more protection. When using your card try to keep it within your sight all the times. Use a chip card if you have one. Immediately put your card away when the clerk hands it back to you.

We have all seen the hoard of people rushing into the stores when they have their “give-away” sales. Many people get hurt, trampled or worse. What is so important for you to have that you risk your personal safety? Besides you can probably find that same item on-line.

On-Line Shopping:

For some reason some people still don’t do anything to protect themselves or make it very easy for the bad guys to steal your data. Make sure that the devise you are using has some type of internet security protection. Do not ever use a password more than one time, and use a password that contains upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and is at least 14 characters long. Use a password manager to remember all of your passwords.

Always use a credit card for on-line shopping, they offer more protection that debit cards.

Do not open unknown attachments or click on links that arrive in the body of an email. If you want to go to a site, enter the address in the bar or use a bookmark if you visited that site before.

This time of the year is a great time for bad guys, we are all very busy and rushed. Slow down a little and don’t become a victim doing something that you could have prevented.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

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