How to Shop Safely for the Holidays
If you use credit or debit cards to shop for the holidays, you may be at risk. Just this year, there have been incidents of hacking by criminal groups who hack into computer systems to steal customers credit/debit card information. Likewise, if you use your cards online to purchase presents you may get your information stolen. There are some things that you can do to protect yourself.
If you plan to purchase some presents online, make sure that the internet site is secure. Somewhere on the site will be their security backing. If you do not see this security logo, I would recommend that you do not use that site. You can purchase Visa type cards that you can load with a certain amount of money. They do not charge much for the use of these cards and they would be safer to use online or shopping in stores. If you are on a budget for gift purchases, just load up the cards with how much you budget for gifts and when the card is empty, you are through purchasing. This will also help you not over-spend for the holidays.
The internet sites are competing with each other for your business. The closer to the holidays we get, the more businesses will be putting their wares on sale. Also, there will be businesses who will offer free shipping. These sale prices along with free shipping will make your holiday budget go further. If you have to pay for shipping, it may be cheaper to shop at your local store. By shopping at your local stores, you are keeping your money in your community and benefiting you neighbors.
There are always people around us who do not have extra funds during the holidays. They would appreciate you helping them during the holidays. Also, we have a lot of troops overseas that cannot be home for the holidays. It would be great if we could help those families left behind with their holiday needs. We have emergency personnel who work during the holidays to help keep us safe. It would be great if we could help our firemen, paramedics, sheriff’s dept. personnel, and our local police department personnel. We always give our mail delivery person a little gift for the holidays and there are many others that would benefit from an act of kindness during the holidays.
When you are shopping, try to not shop alone. Also it is safer to shop during daytime hours. If you shop at different locations, it is wise to put your purchases in the trunk where they cannot be seen. It is sad, but criminals look forward to the holidays also.