With December rapidly approaching, it’s no surprise that more than 75% of Brits have now begun their Christmas shopping. In fact, over one million of us had already started our shopping as early as July! Festive spending is expected to hit a high of £29 Billion in 2015, with the average spend on gifts estimated to be around £596.
While all of this spending is great news for retailers, it’s also very welcome news to your festive burglar, whose activity increases by 20% during the darker months. So, beat the burglar this Christmas by following our Christmas Shopping tips:
The convenience of online shopping makes it a ‘no-brainer’ choice for most festive shoppers this year, with around 76% of us doing all or more than half of our Christmas shopping online . Unfortunately though, this carries its own risks when it comes to security, so it’s best to be in the know and follow these simple rules for shopping online this Christmas:
If you’re thinking about purchasing something from a lesser-known retailer, make sure you do your research on them first. Try typing their name into Google to see what comes up, and look for reviews if you can find them. If you’re not 100% satisfied that the retailer is genuine, purchase your items elsewhere.
An easy way to check if the site that you’re buying from is a secure site is to look at what’s displayed in the Address Bar. If a site is secure, you should see the prefix ‘https://’ – the ‘S’ at the end of ‘http’ shows that the site is secure. You should also be able to see a little green padlock, like this:
NETWORKS & DEVICES
Whether you’re spending £1 or £1000, it’s vital that you make sure that you use a secure network and device when you’re shopping online. Disclosing your payment details via a shared network or device can leave them vulnerable to hackers.
Make sure that you never input your details through a computer, tablet or smart phone that is not specifically designated for your own private use, and never make purchases when using a shared network such as the Wi-Fi at a cafe or library.
Don’t allow websites to store your payment information, even if it might seem convenient, as this could leave them vulnerable to fraudsters. Instead, try to use PayPal if possible or pay using a Credit Card (without saving the information that you put in!) as both of these facilities offer additional layers of security for your money.
Never leave a note on your door to say that you’re not going to be in for a delivery. Although this may be helpful for delivery men, it is also a good indicator for any burglars that may be targeting your home.
After a hard day of Christmas shopping, your next thing to consider is where you can store your presents securely (and without the risk of loved ones spotting them!).
A common mistake of many festive shoppers is to store gifts in their car boot, garage or shed. Unfortunately, these are all areas that are much more vulnerable to thieves, so it’s a good starting point to make sure that your goodies are stored inside of the home.
As the big day draws ever nearer, it can be increasingly tempting to start displaying gifts under the Christmas Tree. Although this may look nice, it looks even nicer to would-be burglars who could be targeting your home. Try to resist the temptation and keep your gifts locked away safely until the last possible moment to avoid attracting any unwanted attention from burglars.
If you have a burglar alarm system installed in your home, make sure that you set it every single time that you go out, no matter how long you’re going for! Make sure that all of your doors & windows are securely locked (and that anything valuable is put away out of site), and follow this rule when you go to bed too! Having and using a reliable Intruder alarm system will provide a great visual deterrent as well as proper security coverage for your home.
AT THE SHOPS
- Make sure that you purse or wallet is stored in a safe place. Never keep it in you back pocket or in an easily accessible part of your bag as this can leave it vulnerable to pick-pockets.
- Spread your cash out around your person so that it is not all being stored in one place. This will decrease the damage caused if your money is stolen or lost.
- Do not return to your car to drop bags off before continuing to shop as someone may see you doing this and target your car for a break-in. If you feel that you absolutely must do this, make sure that bags are securely locked in the boot of the car, with something covering them to conceal them from view. Never leave items on the seats or in foot-wells as this may act as advertisement to thieves.
- Wrap up! -If you’re going to be out in the wintry weather for a while, make sure that you dress warmly in order to avoid catching colds and other illnesses. A coat, hat, scarf & gloves is essential for these cool climates!
If you’ve had a particularly successful day of Christmas shopping, you might well feel like hopping onto social media and bragging about your great bargains and purchases. Unfortunately though, modern day burglars are turning increasingly to social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter etc. to aid them in their plans.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help keep you safe on social media. See our Social Media Security Tips here.
If you’d like more advice on how to stay safe and secure this winter, or if you’d like some more information about security systems for your home, why not contact our team today? Our Security Experts are always happy to help!
Tyneside Security installs and maintains Security Systems across the North East. This includes intruder alarm systems (burglar alarms), CCTV , fire alarm systems, security lighting, access control systems and more. The first step is to organise a free survey with one of our Security Experts, who will determine your exact needs and provide you with a no-obligation quotation for your bespoke security package. Your system will then be installed by one of our experienced and Highly Reliable Engineers, who will look after your system for years to come.
Tyneside Security operates right across the North East of England including Newcastle, Sunderland, South Shields, Whitley Bay, Hexham, Morpeth, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Northumberland.