Celebrating Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family, and turkey. But just as the Thanksgiving meal has digested, another holiday tradition is on the horizon. That’s right, Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year when many businesses run sales that won’t be seen at any other time of year. With deals like that, though, there are some risks involved. Check out our top 3 Black Friday safety tips to stay ahead of the game.
Be Prepared For the Crowds
If you’re planning on braving the early morning doorbusters to take a shot at the very best deals, you know you’ll have a lot of company. Make sure you and all your shopping partners are prepared for the crowds.
- Make sure everyone’s cell phone is on and fully charged. Children or anyone without a phone should stick with a buddy so they don’t get lost.
- Before you start, agree upon a specific meeting place and time. Many stores, especially big box stores, don’t have good reception. You may have trouble placing a call or sending a text.
- It’s easy for something to go wrong in a highly crowded situation. If you’re bringing any children with you, make sure that they have your cell phone number memorized. Also be sure that they know to ask a store employee—and only a store employee—for help if they do get separated.
- Make note of what everyone is wearing before you leave so you’ll have a better chance of spotting them in a crowd.
- Don’t let a large crowd push you around. And if you feel that the crowd is becoming dangerous or violent, get out immediately. No deal is worth you getting injured.
Don’t Become a Target for Criminals
Criminals know that Black Friday will be crowded and hectic. Be on your toes to avoid opportunistic crimes.
- Don’t get your credit or debit card out until it’s time to pay. Someone could easily look over your shoulder and steal your card information.
- Think twice before paying with cash. If a criminal sees that you have a large quantity of cash, they may see you as an easy target.
- Save all your receipts in a safe place so that you can easily verify charges later.
- If you’re shopping at more than one store, keep your purchases in the trunk. Merchandise that is easily visible makes a tempting target for thieves.
Cyber Safety Is Important Too
If early morning crowds aren’t your thing, plenty of online retailers have you covered. But don’t forget that while you’re shopping from the comfort of your home computer, hackers could be trying to gain access to your personal information.
- Make sure that your security software is up to date. New viruses and malware pop up on a daily basis, so you need to keep your software updated to be as protected as possible.
- Make sure your passwords are secure. Never give your password or financial information to any site you don’t trust completely. A legitimate business will never ask you to provide your password. This is a phishing tactic used by cyber thieves.
- Only make online purchases from reputable retailers who use the latest security measures. Check your address bar for the https prefix before entering any personal or financial information. That means that the website is secure and your information will be encrypted, making it much more difficult for hackers to gain access.
Whether you’re going out or staying in, we at Geoff McDonald and Associates wish you a happy and safe start to the holiday season. Don’t forget to like and share!