It can be hard to admit, but anyone can be distracted while shopping online and in stores. Please be careful and vigilant as you shop for bargains.


It may be hard for some to admit, but anyone can become distracted while shopping online and in stores. Please be careful and vigilant as you shop for bargains.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

Are you leaving a trail?  This Cyber Monday - and on every other day - keep online safety in mind as you hunt for bargains.

  • Before browsing online, make sure your computer's security software is up to date.
  • Make sure that any site prompting you to enter financial information begins with “https://”.  The "s" stands for "secure" and is accompanied by a locked padlock symbol.
  • Save a copy of all confirmations from online purchases and keep them organized. This will help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
  • Consider alternate payment methods to your personal bank cards, such as prepaid, disposable credit cards.
  • Never use the same password for all your purchase sites.
  • Be wary of pop-up ads when shopping online. Most contain false information that may lead you to a malicious site.
  • Avoid shopping on public WiFi and from public computers. If prompted, never save your account information (credit card, password, etc.) to a computer that is not yours.
  • Beware of counterfeits - fake products that imitate those made by real brands. Sanctioned brands are indicators of quality and reliability. Companies invest in research and development to make sure their branded products are safe. Buying quality products can mean the difference between safety and serious consequences, like fires or threats to your health.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Keep safety in mind as you hunt for bargains this holiday season.

  • Never overload your arms with bags or anything that would prevent your ability to escape or protect yourself.  Two trips are safer than one.
  • Always park in safe, well-lit locations and make a note of where you parked.  Avoid parking where your own vehicle could become concealed by such things as larger vehicles, dumpsters, shrubbery, and fences.
  • Walk briskly when you are out and about.  Keep your head up and your shoulders back to exude confidence.
  • Maintain your personal space, whether you are walking down the street or inside an elevator.
  • Criminals expect shoppers to carry several credit cards on them in addition to recent purchases.  Conceal all valuables and only carry what you need.
  • Even though it might be daylight when you enter a shopping mall or store, it could be dark when you exit.  If you feel unsafe walking to your vehicle alone, do not hesitate to ask a store employee or security officer to escort you.
  • Carry your vehicle key or remote in-hand when approaching your vehicle through the parking lot.
  • Protect yourself from the health and safety risks of counterfeit goods. Learn how to spot the fakes, and purchase your products from authorized retailers whether you are shopping online or in-store.
  • Report all suspicious behavior to the Police. 
† Copyright © 2019 National Crime Prevention Council. All rights reserved.
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