Georgia sheriff offers tips on staying safe during the holidays

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As the holidays approach, theft and other crimes tend to increase. To help ensure the holidays are safe for you and your family, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis is sharing some tips all Georgians can use to keep themselves and their families safe this holiday season.

When You’re Out Shopping For The Holidays, Stay Alert To Surroundings

When in crowded places, be alert. Don’t overload yourself with packages. Be aware of what’s going on around you to avoid potential threats. Be wary of strangers approaching you for any reason.

When possible, avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carrying large amounts of valuables. Never leave personal belongings unattended. As an added precaution, make sure you have a record of all your credit card numbers in a secure place at home in case they are ever lost or stolen.

Shop With Friends, There Is Safety In Numbers

Always remember there is safety in numbers. Plan to shop with friends and relatives instead of going out alone. Make sure everyone remains alert and looks out for each other.

Parking Lot Safety Tips for Holiday Shoppers

Always make sure to lock your vehicle and hide valuables, preferably in the trunk or locked compartment. If it is dark when you are out, park and walk in well-lit areas and carry keys in your hand. Stay alert to your surroundings and take a moment to look around for possible suspicious persons, vehicles, and/or situations.

Prior to getting into your vehicle take a look inside and around before entering your vehicle. If anything looks suspicious or if your vehicle has been burglarized, call your local law enforcement agency.

Holiday Safety Tips for Online Shoppers

Online shopping has become increasingly popular over recent years. The Internet does have risks so it is important to take steps to protect you when shopping online. It is recommended that you make sure you have a security suite (firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware) installed and updated with the most current information before shopping online. Also, keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date.

Before you enter your personal and financial information for an online transaction, look for signs that the site is secure. This includes a closed padlock on your Web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured.

Never use unsecured wireless networks to make an online purchase. Before providing personal or financial information, check the Web site’s privacy policy.

Keeping Packages Safe During The Holiday Season

  • When ordering online, consider having the package delivered to your workplace or a friend or relative that is at home during the day.
  • Require a signature for a package that you are sending for delivery.
  • Schedule your packages for a time when you or someone will be home.

Keeping Your Home Safe During The Holidays

Be sure to lock windows, sliders, and doors when leaving for any length of time. You should also keep all entrance points into your house secured while you’re at home as well. Set indoor and outdoor lights on timers and think about doing the same with a television or radio to make it appear as if someone is home.

Never keep gifts or valuable objects in plain view from any window. Close blinds, shutters, drapes, and curtains because if a burglar can see those items, they may attempt to take them from you.

If you have children in the home teach them that by no means, will they open the door to anyone prior to your knowledge and approval.

Let Someone You Trust Know When You Are Traveling During The Holidays

Inform someone that you feel is trustworthy, where you will be and when you might be expected back to your residence. Ask a neighbor or other dependable persons to watch your house and retrieve your newspapers and mail if possible.