Tis' the season to be jolly....
It is that wonderful time of year again.
The time of year when "Santa" brings
wonderful presents to all the good
boys and girls, moms, dads, teachers,
and everyone else on your thank you
list. It is the time of year when most
retail items, especially big ticket ones
are marked half off and people buy,
buy, with their hearts content It is also
the time of year when home and
auto thefts, fires, and medical emergencies increase. Here
are 10 tips to keep you, your belongings and loved ones safe
this holiday season.
1. While shopping be on guard. Thieves target the clueless.
Keep your senses keen to whose around you. Make sure
your purse or wallet is secure to you and don't flash cash.
When walking to your car keep your phone on guard and
look around suspiciously. Might sound crazy, but those
who have been robbed and worse, taken as captives in their
own vehicle say they weren't paying attention to their
surrounding when they were attacked.
2. Hide it and lock it up. When you are out shopping going
from place to place do your best to cover up goodies in the
back of the car or better yet lock in a trunk where no one can
see. Remember to lock your car, roll up your windows.
3. Don't advertise any big purchases. Don't put empty big
screen TV boxes out at the curb days before trash pick up.
Same goes for your online profile. Don't start posting
pictures of your new 60 inch screen TV on Facebook.
You're just welcoming others to break into your home.
4. Don't display the merchandise. Putting up your tree in
plain view of the street and then putting a bunch of presents
under the tree is like putting out a big sign that says just
break this window and steal me.
5. If travel is on your agenda for this holiday season don't
make a huge deal about it on your Facebook page. While
some people have their viewing settings to just friends,
most publish all their information to everyone including
those surfing for useful information. Telling the world that
you will be away for 2 weeks in Aruba can welcome thieves
into your home who know you will be away. While most
burglaries are done by those we don't know, a good portion
of break-in and robberies occur by a person we are familiar
6. If you are going out of town, use your alarm systems
home automation controls to turn your lights on and off at
peak times to make it seem as if you are home. If you don't
use a security alarm with home automation features you
can purchase a light timer and set it for peak times.
7. For those with a smart phone controlled alarm system,
you can manually watch your home via your smart phone
application ensuring that you are aware of your homes
safety at all times. This includes arming and disarming the
house for caretakers, cleaners and anyone else stopping
by your place while you are away.
8. For those of you hosting this holiday season be prepared
for guest by testing your alarm systems 2-way voice, smoke
alarms, and security features to ensure that all parts are
working in case of a medical or home emergency. Make
sure all guest understand how to use your security system
to help reduce false alarms.
9. During your online holiday shopping make sure you
shop from trusted sites with the secure shopping seals.
Don't shop with an ATM card. Always shop with a credit
card or Paypal which offer shoppers protection in the event
the card is stolen. If your ATM account that is linked to
your bank account is stole your cash will be gone. Plus,
using credit cards provides you protection in the event
that the product you ordered doesn't arrive, arrives
broken or is not what you ordered.
10. Make sure to be vigilant about email and door to door
scams at this time of year. Don't open links or respond
to emails that tell you that you have money waiting or
need to pay for something before you can win a prize. The
same kind of emails will sometimes tell you about a bill or
bad account you have attempting to get you to open a bad
link or telling you the bad account can be taken care of if
you pay a fee.
Remember you are in control of what happens in your life.
By being proactive, vigilant, and aware of your surroundings
at home, away, and online you can keep yourself, your
home, your identity, and the ones you love safe this holiday