My 6 tips for shopping safe this holiday season

Ahhhh, it has already started!!! The Christmas decorations went up at retail stores around July, I think (right?), and every day I see 5 more friends posting photos of their Christmas trees set up in their house! It has kinda taken me by surprise this year… where is the time going?! But also – are people decorating earlier this year OR WHAT?! Christmas trees go up after Thanksgiving in my house! (Or maybe I just procrastinate… hmmm…)

Anyway, with all this excitement comes shopping. Lots and lots of holiday shopping. I started my gift shopping weeks ago and am actually almost done. Although now that I said that out loud, I’ll be scrambling for some last minute gifts on Christmas Eve, I’m sure.

How do you stay safe while shopping during the holiday season? Whether you’re online or in stores, there are plenty of ways to become a victim of identity theft. I have some of my own personal experiences to share along with my tips on staying safe:

  • Know exactly what you have with you and keep them CLOSE! I hate to admit that I’ve left my purse behind a number of times in a store dressing room or even hanging in the bathroom stall :/ Luckily, every time I’ve been able to quickly return to the spot and grab my belongings before losing anything. Anytime you stop, just make sure you have everything you came with! Hold your purse close, don’t leave money or credit cards in your back pocket, and I’ve even heard of people strapping their purses to the shopping cart!
  • Be aware of your surroundings and people nearby. This is especially important if you’re out on Black Friday when the crowds are huge and CRAZY (believe me, I’ve been there). You may get pushed and shoved and in the rush of it all you might lose something (or have it stolen) without even noticing. Watch those around you and be aware.
  • Don’t leave your credit or debit cards sitting out on the counter when you’re paying. You might be thinking no one will grab it, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t simply LOOK and steal your CC number.
  • If you’re shopping online, make sure the site is secure and the web address begins with https:// instead of http://
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is!!! Watch for scams online, especially this time of year! Last year I searched everywhere for the LeapPad for my son. It was sold out everywhere or it was double the normal price. I finally found it on some random online shop for the regular price, maybe even at a slight discount. I almost bought it. I almost fell for it. A quick google search of the store name showed me TONS of reports of people being scammed by them on similar “too good to be true” deals.
  • Get help. Monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements and watch for unusual activity. The best and safest way to do this is to have someone watching for you. Our family is a member of LifeLockand they alert us (by email, by phone, by text) as soon as they’re aware of any suspicious activity and if we do become victims of identity theft, they work around the clock to help us cancel accounts, etc.

Do you plan on shopping during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? How about Small Business Saturday?! I’ll likely be shopping on all three (coffee, please!) and plan to keep my safety tips in mind! Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear them!

Also, LifeLock is hosting a twitter party this Friday–Black Friday!–full of tips and tricks to keep you safe while shopping this holiday season! You won’t want to miss it! And okay, if not for the information, for the PRIZES! Best Buy gift cards galore and LifeLock memberships! You can sign up with the form below… see you there! (And don’t forget your weekly entry into the LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes on their FB page! This month all the prizes are Visa gift cards!)

lifelock twitter party

(From my homepage, click the link below to see the form for the twitter party!)

~disclosure: as a LifeLock Ambassador, I received a membership and compensation for this post.


6 comments to My 6 tips for shopping safe this holiday season

  • I never thought about people being able to see your credit card numbers! That’s so scary, I don’t think my numbers are ever visible to anyone else, but now I’m going to make sure of it!

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  • These are great tips to remember any time of the year! I think people forget how easy it is to get caught up in your shopping and leave your card visible to everyone or let something out of your sight.

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  • We did most of our shopping online last year over black Friday weekend and going into cyber Monday. It was seriously awesome to get all of the same deals without having to leave our house. I’m sure we’ll do the same thing this year, although we’ve been tossing around the ide of heading out into the craziness Thanksgiving night since we’ll be staying with family and they can stay with the boys.

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  • I always forget to check if it starts with https:// or not. I need to remember that since I do a lot of my shopping online!

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  • Thanks for these! We actually just got back from our shopping trip but I followed most of them 🙂 I do most of my online shopping at Amazon but I usually look into other sites pretty closely, print screen the confirmation page (and save it in a file on my computer) and put a note in my calendar when the EDD is. Being a busy SAHM, it would be easy to completely forget about something that is suppose to be delivered.

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  • Jessica Parks Wiese

    I had no idea that there was a difference between Http and Https. Thanks for pointing that out!

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