The holiday shopping season is upon us. Thieves, con artists, burglars, muggers, pickpockets and other people with bad intentions are out and about looking for their next victims. You have to be more conscious of your surroundings and be mindful of your belongings. If you’re going shopping, make sure to follow these safety tips.

Try to carry as little as possible

Try to leave your purse at home. Bring only the items you really need and keep them in your pocket. If you do bring a purse, hold it securely against your body. You can also wear it under a jacket or coat to keep it unexposed. Do not leave your purse in your shopping cart or on a counter, not even for a moment. Do not hang your purse on a stroller. Also, do not leave your belongings unattended on a table or chair beside you in a restaurant. Don’t leave any purchases or your purse unattended while shopping or in a dressing room. Check Out this Shopping Safe Video Clip.

Pay with checks or with credit cards when possible

Do not flash large amounts of cash. Try to bring only one credit card. Make sure you have the customer service number written down on a piece of paper or stored in your phone in the event that your purse is stolen. Keep your phone in your pocket and not in your purse while shopping.  Consider making photocopies of all the important things in your purse or wallet and leave the copies in a secure place at home so if your belongings get stolen, you’ll have records of all the important things.

Never leave children unattended

If your child gets separated from you, teach them to find a cashier or security guard to help. If possible have them memorize your address and phone number. Teach them not to go with a stranger.

Try not to shop alone

Shopping with someone else is safer and more fun. You are less likely to be a target if you are with someone else. Also, you can take turns using the dressing room and watching each other’s belongings.

Locate your keys before leaving the store

Looking for your keys distracts you and makes you an easy target for someone trying to commit a crime with minimal resistance. Being aware of your surroundings is one of the most important factors you need to consider while shopping. Take a good look at the faces and hands of people who might try to approach you. Most snatchers like to strike quickly without being recognized. Do not appear to be distracted or vulnerable. In the event an incident does occur being vigilant will also help you better describe the assailant. Walk briskly and confidently. Try to shop during the day or stay in well-lit areas when possible. Muggers and thieves are more likely to strike in dark, secluded areas.

Put your purchases in the trunk

Leaving your purchases visible in your vehicle can increase your risk of theft. To be safe, put as much as you can in the trunk. If some of your purchases have to go on your seats, consider covering them with a blanket. That way your car is less likely to become a target of criminals. Lock your car the moment you get inside before starting the car.

Check Out The National Safety Council’s List of Holiday Safety Tips.

Follow these tips to stay safe this holiday season. NPS wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. For businesses looking to make their establishment safer this holiday season schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Let the security experts at National Protective Service, Inc find a security solution tailored to meet your individual needs. National Protective Services, Protecting You Like Family.