Tag Archives: shopping

8 Helpful Holiday Hints for the Last-Minute Mayhem

Although not everyone is in it for religious reasons, 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, and that means the countdown is on. To help you stay safe (if not necessarily sane) during the last few days before Christmas Day, we’ve pulled together a list of eight posts you’ll find useful—but might not be thinking about because baking and wrapping is top of mind! 

1. Prepping your vehicle for road trips
If holiday travel is on your agenda and you’re headed over the river and through the woods, make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip—especially if you might encounter winter weather. 

2. Protecting your packages
Porch pirates are real: 23 million Americans have packages stolen from their front porch each year. Definitely read this post if you’re getting packages delivered and you’re considering ways to keep them safe, because you’ll get tips for thwarting the porch pirates who’d like to make your packages into their booty. Or find out if you need a service like Amazon Key or if your home security system will protect your packages for you. 

3. Getting teens to town safely
If you have college students who are homebound for the holidays by car, go over the safety advice in this post to ensure safe travels. If they are traveling by plane or train, see this post for excellent advice to share with them. 

4. Making sure Fido will be fine
If you’re traveling and your pets will need looking after, follow the advice here on finding a good pet sitter and ways to prepare your pet and your pet sitter before you leave. Read more…

5. Decorating with a safety-first mindset
This post offers holiday safety tips to use throughout your home as you’re decorating! Also see tips for keeping your Christmas tree fresh and less fire-prone. 

6. Staying safe if you’re still doing your shopping
Many of us are still shopping up until the last minute! Read the tips in this post to make sure you’re safe, whether shopping online or in person. Although the advice is specific to Thanksgiving weekend, it applies to the whole holiday shopping season. 

7. Taking safety into account when buying toys
All toys are not created equal and some pose a bigger threat than others. Before you start your toy buying, review the safety tips in this post to ensure the toys you give will be both fun and safe. 

8. Giving home security as the gift that lasts all year
If you’re stumped for gift ideas, consider home security. This post explains why it’s an excellent gift the whole year long. Read more…

Despite the decline in the religious reasons for celebrating the holiday, Christmas is still a major event for most Americans, making it a busy time of year that can lead to mistakes and missteps. Review this list of posts for reminders, and stay safe this holiday season and into the new year! 

Have Yourself a Greener Little Christmas…with Gifts that Last

The environment is top of mind for many this holiday season, after a year of horrendous natural disasters. That might mean we’re a little greener in our Christmas preparations this year. And even if wildfires and hurricanes aren’t pushing us to be greener, the rising awareness of plastic waste should be. As we switch to re-usable grocery bags and restaurants stop offering straws, we are paying more attention to that waste. And now is the time to do it, because the amount of trash we throw away in the U.S. increases by an estimated 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Yes, that makes the holiday season an excellent time to step back and figure out ways to make less waste of all kinds…starting with gifts. To help you get greener, we offer four ways to give gifts they’ll love—with less waste.

Give quality gifts
Choose a higher quality product if it will last longer, and most definitely avoid kitschy things that no one really wants anyway. (Hint: If it looks like it belongs a White Elephant party, it belongs at a White Elephant party.) Spend a little more and give a little less if you have to make up the difference in price. When you spend more for a higher quality product that lasts, you benefit in the long run by cutting down on waste.

Restrict your buying to local, independently owned shops
One way to cut back on waste is by driving less and spending more locally. It’s easy to go online and go on a splurge, buying things people might not need or want and generating lots of plastic shipping material that gets thrown away. Try shopping locally and you’ll make less waste while benefiting your local economy. (We are trying an experiment at our house this year: We are taking the money we saved for Christmas out of the bank as cash and only using that to do our Christmas shopping, forcing us to shop at brick-and-mortar stores and not online.)

Give gifts that keep on giving
It might not be glitzy but a gift like home security is a gift that keeps on giving without generating more waste. It’s something useful and much appreciated. It doesn’t take up any room or need storage, but it gives plenty of peace of mind. And it’s a gift that causes the recipient to think of you every time he or she uses it. Home security can be a priceless gift that keeps on giving. If not home security, maybe it’s a subscription to a publication, or a donation to a charity, or something else your loved one would appreciate.

Wrap naturally
Although we’ve been saving and re-using the same Christmas wrapping bows for years now (and admittedly, some are looking haggard and worn!), we are transitioning to all natural materials for gift wrapping. Check Pinterest for ideas, and you’ll see how gorgeous this kind of gift wrapping can be!

As our awareness of plastic waste increases, organizations and businesses are taking steps to decrease the amount of that waste. You can read updates on the fight against plastic waste at the National Geographic website. And you as an individual can take your own steps to reduce waste by going a little greener with gifts this season!

Review These Shopping Safety Tips Before You Whip Out Your Wallet This Weekend…

Thanksgiving is early this year. No, it really is. It falls on November 22nd, which is the earliest date it can fall on. So, it’s not your imagination. Thanksgiving did sneak up on you! And on us too, we admit, and because of that, we are all of a sudden realizing it’s time to talk about safe holiday shopping before the buying frenzy begins.

It’s going to be a big year for holiday shopping
And a frenzy it will be! Last year 174 million Americans parted with their money during the Thanksgiving weekend shopping, which includes Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can expect that number to be higher this year because the economy is booming and consumer confidence is high. As a result, eMarketer predicts 2018 holiday season will bring strong retail sales: offline sales are expected to increase 4.1%, while online spending will increase 16.2% to $123.39 billion.

Will you be one of the confident consumers coughing up cash this weekend? Before you whip out your wallet this Thursday, Friday or Monday, review these safety tips first, so your holiday won’t be more expensive than you’d planned.

While shopping online
More money will be spent online than in person this Thanksgiving weekend, so be ready to be safe for any shopping that involves your laptop or mobile phone:

  • When at a website, check the URL and look for https:// rather than just http://. You can also look for a lock or similar symbol, showing that the site is confirmed secure.
  • Change up your passwords on a regular basis.
  • Pay with a credit cardinstead of a debit card.
  • Have a plan for any packages that will get delivered to your house, so they’re not sitting on your front porch and easily stolen.

While shopping in person
Despite the allure of online shopping, many of us still like to go spend our money in person. If you’re going to be hitting the Black Friday sales, pay attention to these safety tips:

  • Don’t flash any cash and only pull out your wallet when you’re ready to pay.
  • Keep your purse close to your body or carry your wallet in a front pocket.
  • Only purchase what you can carry at one time.
  • Keep your phone charged.
  • Set up meeting times and places if you’re shopping with others.
  • Park under a light if you’ll be shopping until after dark.
  • If you put packages in your car and do more shopping, keep those packages out of sight by hiding them in the trunk.
  • Once you’re back home, don’t advertise expensive purchases. Don’t leave boxes on the front porch and break down large boxes as soon as possible to keep your buys to yourself.

Don’t spend what you don’t have
Although the buying and giving is fun, and these tips should help keep you and your property safer, we offer one caveat to all this: Avoid the debt. Consumer debt is set to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2018. You might think that’s unrelated to home security and safety, but when debt affects our physical health, marriages, and financial futures, it’s totally related. No matter how good the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal might be, if you have to borrow to buy it, you’re going to end up paying more for it anyway.

And on that note, have fun, buy smart, and stay safe this Thanksgiving weekend!

When May Means Graduation, Give Gifts to Keep Them Safe

May has definitely become the month that kicks off graduation season, with both May and June seemingly full of elementary kids moving up to middle school, and middle school to high school, and then high graduates going off the college and college graduates going off to life! Oh my!

If you have friends or family moving into a next life stage—with a transition into or out of college—consider giving gifts that put safety first, because it’s an uncertain world out there. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a suit of armor or anything overly pricey. There are several ways you can give the gift of safety and security with ease…

For the kids headed to college in the fall For those graduates heading off college dorms, look for gifts at DormSmart.com. They sell “dorm room essentials” and have a section of their website focused on safety and security, including both items for sale and helpful hints. (Read more about dorm safety and security here.)

For those who will be driving, consider car safety kits, or this emergency preparedness backpack kit sold by the Red Cross. Other good ideas include gift cards for car maintenance or oil changes, so they can prepare their cars for the road trips to and fro.

For the kids headed out into the world
Not all kids are headed to college. Some will be entering the military while others go straight into the workforce (an increasingly popular choice these days). And even those going off to college won’t necessarily live in a dorm, as many choose apartments instead. (If you’ve ever had dorm food or tried to sleep in a building full of immature 18-year-olds away from home for the first time, you might not blame them!)

For those new graduates who are moving into an apartment or a home of their own, an emergency preparedness kit like the one mentioned above makes a great gift. Or pull together a few basic items they probably won’t have, like flashlights and batteries and a hand-cranked radio, and make a gift basket with those. Or make a gift basket with canned good and a can opener, in case the power goes out. These can be very clever but very useful gifts, because they help prepare the new graduate for an emergency but also get them thinking about being prepared.

And of course either the car safety kit or the emergency backpack mentioned above make great gifts for your new graduate, no matter where they are headed.

More than anything else, however, make sure you talk to them about staying safe and secure. It is a scary world out there. Talk to them about intangibles like identify theft and password concerns. Be honest with them about the importance of staying safe on campus or while out at night. Prevention really is worth a pound of cure, and their schooling probably didn’t teach them how to stay safe in the first place. So now’s your chance…

Three More Ways to Keep Older Adults Safely Living on Their Own

They say America is aging and statistics show that to be true. By 2050, the number of Americans over 65 years of age will reach 88.5 million. That’s twice the number in 2010, meaning in just 40 years, our country’s older population will double.

As our population ages, we are most of us likely to fall into one of two categories: the “older adults” who want to stay independent, and the children of those older adults who are trying to support their parents in their independence.

We’ve written about keeping seniors safely living on their own before, in our blog post called Keeping Seniors Safe: 6 Tips to Keep Your Parents Independent Longer. In that post, we talked about ways to make sure the kitchen and bathroom are safe, coaching our elderly relatives on safe social media usage, ensuring the lighting is good, and installing a home security system.

We’ve also written about how a home automation system can help senior citizens to stay in their homes.

In this post, we build on that previous advice to add three more nuggets that have come to our attention with additional research into keeping seniors safe when living alone.

Prevent falls when you put things within easy reach
I’m not yet an older adult, but I still make my husband cringe when I stand on a chair or jump up in the air to reach a bowl on a top shelf. In his mind, his accident-prone wife is only asking for an injury, and he’s right. For our older parents and relatives, it’s imperative that they can reach what they need to decrease the chance of a fall. I’m not suggesting your 77-year-old mother will climb on a chair, but you never know. Mine would! (Maybe that’s where I get it?) Those things they are likely to need should be easy to reach, neither too high nor too low.

Have groceries delivered to cut down on driving
Driving is one act of independence older adults really struggle to give up, it seems. And perhaps they still drive just fine, but their reaction times have slowed and the drivers around them don’t know it, putting everyone at risk. Statistics show older drivers tend to be in more accidents. If you can have groceries delivered, you can cut down on the driving—plus the chances of a fall in a grocery store or parking lot. (If you need guidance in talking to an older relative about driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association offers excellent advice.)

Make sure they are getting social interaction while staying safe online
Speaking of driving, once seniors either drive less or stop driving, their degree of social interaction can decrease significantly, leading to loneliness and depression. Some older adults will turn to social media for interaction. If that’s the case, make sure you go over safety guidelines with them. Talk to them about passwords, identity theft and safe social media usage. Then be sure they are getting real-life interaction as well, through activities and family time. Yes, you’re busy. But this is part of keeping older relatives safe, because seniors living in isolation have a higher mortality rate.

With the population of Americans over age 65 doubling in just 40 years, chances are we will either be in that group or taking care of that group. Knowing ahead of time how to help ourselves or others to stay safe later in life while still enjoying our independence can be a huge help in preventing accidents and their long-term consequences—that make independence

Don’t Trust an Old Sack for the Perfect Gift: Questions to Ask Before Buying That Toy

Gift giving season is upon us, and for little ones, that means toys. Sure, teens and adults are happy with gift cards or cash, but children are rarely thrilled by something so abstract, preferring the immediate satisfaction of a toy they can play with right away. Even if you don’t have children to shop for, with so many children in need, many of us buy and donate to a toy drive. So it seems most of us are probably toy shopping at some point this time of year!

And that can be stressful. Walking down the toy aisles at your local supercenter may seem a bit overwhelming with all the options, and with all the new technology, toys are far more complex than they were 20 years ago. When confronted by all this variety, safety may be at the back of your mind, but it shouldn’t be.

John Hopkins Medicine released statistics showing that over 200,000 children are treated in emergency rooms every year for toy-related injuries, and 3% of those require hospital care. Although the majority of incidents involve riding toys such as tricycles or scooters, other injuries can be caused by choking, drowning or suffocation. Choking in particular is a risk for children under three years of age, as young ones are more likely to put small pieces in their mouth and their airways are smaller.

Yes, these are scary statistics, putting a damper on that toy shopping, right? But the toys you pick out this year don’t have to be a part of these statistics or put anyone in the hospital. Check out the simple questions below to keep in mind during your stroll through the dolls and dinosaurs, and you’ll be sure to err on the side of safety while shopping:

  • What is the recommended age? Keep in mind the age of all the children in the house, because you never know who might be able to get their hands on that toy.
  • Does it have sharp points or edges? When kids play rough you don’t want anyone poking an eye out.
  • Are there any long cords or strings? This may not be the first safety concern to come to mind, but cords or strings could get wrapped around someone and cause serious injury or suffocation.
  • Is it small enough to fit in a mouth? Or are there small pieces that could break off? Especially with toddlers, if it can go in a mouth, it will go in a mouth.
  • Are the magnets safely secured in plastic? See the previous question, since swallowed magnets can be even more dangerous than swallowed plastic.
  • Is it loud, and can the volume be turned off or lowered? Toys with without adjustable volumes aren’t just annoying; they can damage hearing as well.
  • Is it nontoxic? Some countries have stricter regulations on materials than others, so make sure any toy you pick up is made safely and reliably by checking where it was made.
  • If it’s made from fabric, is it washable? Spills happen all the time, and no one wants a favorite toy ruined forever by a favorite juice, plus fabrics can harbor bacteria in a way plastic can’t.
  • Are the batteries securely screwed in? If you can pry them out without a screwdriver, it might be best to put the whole toy back.
  • Perhaps most important, was it recalled? Doing some research online may save you from giving a toy that shouldn’t be sold in the first place.

Yes, this is a lot to think about for just a simple gift. But if you ask yourself all these questions while shopping, you’ll walk away with a safe, reliable, well-made toy that can last for years. And if you practice by questioning toy purchases, think of how many other purchases you could make with the same safety principles, creating established, lasting habits of safe buying?

Is Amazon Key the Key to Secure Package Delivery? Or Is Your Home Security System Enough?

By now you’ve probably heard of Amazon Key, the new service from Amazon that will enable delivery people to enter your home. That way, they can deposit packages there as opposed to leaving them on your front porch where they are vulnerable to thieves.

The timing for the announcement lines up perfectly with the startup of the holiday shopping season, as Amazon ramps up for its busiest time of year. And the timing might appeal to you, if you’re thinking about the products you plan to buy through Amazon—and have delivered to your vulnerable front porch.

But the more we thought about it, the more we wondered: Should you get Amazon Key if you already have a home security system? We did a little digging to find out.

Package theft is on the rise
Package theft has risen right alongside the increase in online shopping, after all. According to one report, U.S. homeowners get an average of 27 packages delivered during the course of the year, and 26% get a delivery at least once a week. Of those people receiving deliveries, 23 million people fall victim to “porch pirates” each year, with packages stolen from the front porch.

That same report indicates homeowners want delivery personnel to have access to their homes, citing 69% of people who have been victims of package theft would choose to let a delivery person into their house via an app (such as a home security system equipped with a video camera) rather than have the package left outside, and 28% of those victims would be willing to let the delivery person have access to their home in order to leave packages inside.

Enter Amazon Key…

What is Amazon Key?
Amazon Key is a new service that lets people into your house to deliver packages from Amazon. To use Amazon Key, you must have a certain type of smart lock and in-home video camera. According to our research, you can choose from three locks, all sold by Amazon, but there is only one camera that will work: the Cloud Cam Key Edition in-home camera. The camera and smart lock talk to each other via your home’s WiFi. The locks come in a range of prices, and the camera only one price, so the whole package costs between $249 and $319 after a bundled discount.

With Amazon Key, the delivery person scans a barcode, sending a request to Amazon. Amazon grants permission to unlock by telling your camera to start recording. The courier gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen to your smart lock, and unlocks your door. They drop off the package and then relock your door with another swipe. You get notified that your delivery has been delivered, and voila! All done.

What about your home security system?
Amazon Key might make sense for people who do a lot of online ordering yet also spend a lot away from home. But there is a cost to get set up as noted above, and what if you already have a home security system? With the right kind of home security system, you can use a video camera to see who is at the door, unlock the door remotely to let a delivery person in, and then lock the door again when they leave. Granted, you have to be accessible at the time the delivery person shows up, meaning you’re not tied up in a meeting or on a conference call. But do you need both? It’s something to think about.

According to one reporter’s trial run with Amazon Key, it sounds like you have to disarm your home security system in order for Amazon Key to work, and delivery people are instructed not to open your door if they hear barking or scratching that indicates a dog. We don’t blame them: People are often bitten by dogs that “don’t bite,” and who wants to be the one to accidentally let Fido fly out the door to roam the neighborhood unsupervised? That means even Amazon Key can’t keep your packages off the front porch, regardless of your smart lock and special camera.

Alternatives to Amazon Key
If package theft is a concern for you, especially as the holidays approach, note that Amazon Key is not your only option for package protection, however. You can also:

  • Choose to have your package delivered to a nearby Amazon locker.
  • Choose to have your package shipped to your local UPS store.
  • Have packages delivered to you at work.
  • Build relationships with trusted neighbors who can either receive packages on your behalf or get them from the front porch for you after delivery.
  • Explore other package theft prevention options now on the market, such as the Package Guard, a small disk on which a package is placed, and that sounds an alarm if that package is picked up.
  • Use your home security system to see who is at your door and to unlock the door if it’s a package delivery.

Our conclusion after this research? It depends. For some, Amazon Key will be the way to prevent to package theft. For others, an up-to-date home security system might suffice…and save some cash.

The Least Relaxing Weekend of the Year Is Here: Here’s How to Stay Safe While Shopping

With Turkey Day over, many of us would like to fall into a food coma while someone else finishes the dishes in the kitchen. Some of us want to watch football with our family. Others, however, start gearing up for the next few days of shopping: Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Since 30 percent of all retail sales happen between Black Friday and Christmas, it’s no surprise that millions of Americans will be retiring to bed early on Thanksgiving so they can get going first thing the next morning.

But all that shopping comes with some risk, and you know we are all about mitigating risk! So here’s your guide to staying safe every day of this holiday shopping weekend…

Black Friday

  • Do your research. If you check out the layout of the store beforehand, it’ll be easier to head straight for the deals you want and avoid the wandering crowds.
  • Don’t get up too early, since 8:00 a.m. may be the perfect time for your Black Friday shopping. All of the super early risers will have left already, and those wanting to sleep in will still be in bed. As long as you aren’t looking for a specific big-ticket item, arriving at a reasonable hour may benefit you by keeping you out of the chaos.
  • Check the web. Sure, you can wait until Monday (we’ll get to that later), but some stores have their Black Friday deals online too, meaning you don’t have to go to the brick-and-mortar location.
  • See other Black Friday safety tips here.

Small Business Saturday

  • Do make sure that all doors and windows are locked before leaving home (or check remotely from your phone once you’re out and about). On a more relaxed day like this Saturday, you may be out even longer than usual strolling around town. Making sure to secure everything can help with your peace of mind.
  • Don’t leave packages outside after you return home, and don’t advertise expensive purchases. Break down large boxes as soon as possible to keep recent pricey purchases like televisions or appliances a secret from curious eyes…and we don’t mean just those of your family, but the curious eyes of anyone else.
  • Check your car. Lock all doors and roll up all windows in the parking lot, even if you only leave for a bit. Make sure to double-check they’re locked, just in case a sale notification pops up on your phone and distracts you.

Cyber Monday

  • Do use a credit card. By using a credit card as opposed to a debit card or a third-party payment service, you release less information about yourself. The less information you give out online, the better. Credit cards are also easier to deal with if fraud happens, and may even provide a “zero liability” policy in case you are the victim of fraudulent charges.
  • Don’t reuse your passwords. If someone gets hold of your password to one site, make sure they aren’t able to use it on every other site as well by changing up your passwords. This includes using different passwords for sites such as your bank or email than you would for shopping sites.
  • Check for an “s.” To be sure that the site that you’re shopping on is secure, check for https:// rather than just http://. A lock or a similar symbol may also appear to confirm the security of the site.

If you happen to be one of the 100 million people scouring for deals before dawn, you could probably use a helping hand. While this post can’t help you carry all your bags to your car, it can give you some new tips to help keep you and your belongings safe this crazy weekend.

Wireless vs. Hardwired Home Security: 3 Situations Where Hardwired Is the Best Choice

We are big believers in wireless home security. Don’t let the title of this post mislead you and make you think otherwise. However, although we have touted the benefits of wireless home security systems in the past with our post on 7 reasons for wireless, there are times when a hardwired home security system might make more sense.

In an effort to make sure we’re sensitive to the other side of the wireless vs. hardwired discussion, here are a few times when hard-wired might be the better choice…

Peace of mind
Some people are concerned that a wireless home security system can be hacked. Although that’s highly unlikely due to the encryption used by any reputable home security provider, the fear of data being vulnerable might be enough to make a hardwired home security system the better choice. After all, if you’re not at ease with your home security system, what’s the point of having it?

Ease of use
For the tech-savvy consumer, the remote access to and control of a wireless home security system might be the ultimate in ease of use. What could be easier than downloading an app and locking your front door or checking a home surveillance camera while at work, right? For some of us, however, that’s not ease of use but utterly confusing. Some of us, particularly those who are older, are going to have an easier time navigating a hardwired home security system.

Weak WiFi
A wireless home security system relies on the Internet. For people with a less-than-ideal Internet connection, wireless might not be the best choice. Where we live, we had satellite Internet for years until we finally had DSL installed in our area two years ago. Before the DSL, our Internet connections were intermittent and spotty. We would not have had reliable home security if we’d tried to use a wireless system back then. For anyone who has Internet connectivity or WiFi issues, a hardwired system might be the best choice.

None of these reasons diminishes in any way the benefits of wireless home security, with its ease of installation, flexibility, transferability, scalability and remote access and monitoring. However, that doesn’t make it the best solution for everyone all of the time.

The best way to choose between wireless and hardwired is to look at your own situation—including your security concerns and comfort level with technology—and to make a choice that’s right for you.

 

Doing Your Holiday Shopping Online? Keep Yourself Safe With These Cyber Monday Safety Tips

Black Friday has become ubiquitous with the Thanksgiving weekend, as shoppers storm brick-and-mortar stores in search of fabulous holiday discounts. For those who prefer to shop from the comfort of their own homes, however, Cyber Monday now provides an online alternative as more and more people choose to do their holiday shopping from PCs, tablets and even smart phones.

Shopping from home does not guarantee safety from mischief, however. Just as Black Friday requires some special precautions to keep you and your possessions safe, so does Cyber Monday.

Also be aware that thieves are happy with a variety of bits of information about you. They don’t necessarily go after your bank account numbers. According to IdentityHawk, the types of data that get stolen online include:

  • Name and address 31.4%
  • Social Security numbers 19%
  • Date of birth 10.5%
  • Financial information 8.6%
  • Credit card numbers 4.6%

And unlike your car getting broken into while you’re at the mall, online victims don’t necessarily know right away that their information has been compromised. Referring to IdentityHawk’s statistics again, only 21% of people know within the first month while it might be as long as three months for 45% of the victims and over three years for another 14% of them.

Americans spend over $2 billion on Cyber Monday alone, and although 56% of people say they only shop on sites they know are safe, that still leaves 44% of us who could be taking unnecessary risks.

To decrease your risk as you navigate the dangers of online shopping with its forged emails and fake websites, here are four tips to help keep your identity protected while buying gifts on this digitally busy day…

Look for the “s”
If the site that you’re shopping on is secure, it should have an s: Look for https:// rather than just http://. You can also look for a lock or similar symbol, showing that the site is confirmed secure.

Change up passwords
By using one password for everything, you’re giving access to all your locks with a single key. Never use the same password for important personal sites—such as banks or storage—as you do for shopping sites. Switch up the combinations of letters, numbers and cases to keep your passwords differentiated. Also keep in mind that the longer the password is, the better protected you are.

Use a credit card
Paying for online purchases with your credit card, as opposed to a debit or a non-plastic method, releases less information and makes you less liable. Fraudulent charges are easier to deal with on a credit card than with a debit card that’s directly linked to your checking account too. Additionally, many credit card providers have “zero liability” policies just in case you are a victim.

Take action
If you do suspect identity theft, it’s best to deal with it as soon as you can. Contact your credit card company, your bank and the police before any more damage is done to your reputation and finances.

As safe as it might seem, always keep in mind that you can’t assume shopping online is 100% safe. Even a “90% off” special deal might not be worth it if it puts your information at risk. By staying smart and paying attention to your screen, you can shop securely, then spend the next couple days comfortably waiting for your packages to arrive.

 

View all of our security plans and features!

Customer Reviews

I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!

-

We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

-
Read more reviews