This holiday season, you might be looking forward to getting out and shopping for gifts for all of your loved ones. You shouldn’t have to worry about your personal safety while you’re doing your holiday shopping, but it is still important for you to protect yourself. These are a few helpful tips that can hep you stay safe.

Protect Your Financial Information

It is very important to protect your financial information when you are shopping. If you’re shopping online, make sure you only shop on reputable websites. When shopping in stores, make sure you shield the card reader when swiping or inserting your card or when entering your PIN.

Be Careful When Walking to Your Car

You can be vulnerable when walking to your car in a crowded parking lot. You might be tired from a long day of shopping. It gets dark earlier during the holiday season, so you could find yourself walking to your car in the dark, even if you call it a day at a relatively early time.

Park your car near the front of a parking lot or near a streetlight if possible. Walk to your car with a purpose, and have your keys and phone in your hand. Be mindful of your surroundings. If you are nervous about walking to your car alone, don’t be afraid to ask store security to escort you.

Keep Your Kids Safe

If you are going to bring your kids along when you’re doing your holiday shopping, it’s important for you to keep them safe, too. Teach your children to hold your hand or your shirt when you’re walking through busy crowds, and make sure that they understand basic parking lot safety. Have a meeting place in mind and share it with your children, just in case you get separated in a busy holiday crowd.

Personal safety is important all year long. You may want to be particularly careful during the holiday season. If you follow the tips above, you can help make sure that you stay safe while shopping for holiday decor and gifts.