Keep Your Holidays Happy and Safe! 18 Holiday Theft Prevention Tips You Need to Know

The holiday season is filled with the hustle and bustle of shoppers, the excited wrapping of the gifts, and spending lots of time with the ones we love. Amongst all this joy and light, it’s very easy to forget that thieves still lie in wait, ready for the right opportunity to seize your valuables, whether they are in your home, in your car, or even online.

This holiday season, prevent thieves from stealing your valuables and breaking in your home or car. Keep your holiday happy and safe with these 18 tips below!

Keep Your Car Safe

*When exiting your car, be sure you always take your purse, wallet, MP3 player, cellphone, laptop, and other items with you.

*If you cannot take your valuables with you, lock them up in the trunk before you leave your home. By placing them in the trunk upon your arrival, you could alert thieves to the valuables that lie defenseless in your trunk.

*If you’re out shopping, don’t leave your purchases visible in your car; place them discreetly in your trunk instead. Additionally, be sure to park in areas that have adequate lighting, and consider shopping with someone rather than going alone, especially if you are shopping in the evening hours.

*Be aware of your surroundings at all times and walk with purpose. Keep your keys ready in your hand before getting into your car, and report any suspicious people or activity to the law enforcement right away.

*Keep the amount of available cash you have on you at a minimum. In the same vein, keep track of all your credit and debit cards and keep receipts to compare to your monthly statement.

Stay Safe at Home

*Create an up-to-date home inventory including the make, model, and serial numbers of your items. Include detailed descriptions and photographs of your valuable items as well. This inventory should be kept somewhere safe.

*Inscribe valuable items such as your televisions, computers, and stereos with an identifying number. When doing so, be sure not to use your entire social security number.

*Make sure your doors and windows are locked when you leave, even if you have an alarm system in place.

*Consider installing an alarm system and activate it whenever you leave home.

*If you have to leave home for an extended period of time, ask a neighbor or trusted friend to pick up your mail and newspapers while you’re away, or just have the post office hold them until you return. Nothing tempts a potential thief more than a mailbox full of mail and several newspapers scattered on the sidewalk.

*If you’re ordering your gifts online, keep in mind that if you are not home that the boxes sitting outside your home or apartment can easily be stolen. Consider being home when they are slated for delivery or asking a friend or relative to pick your packages up to keep them safe until your return.

*Did you purchase a big ticket item that came in a large box like a brand new HD television? Be sure to break down the box when you throw it away otherwise you could be tempting potential thieves to come on in and steal it (and your other expensive items) away.

*If you’re going away from the holidays, be sure not to mention this on your voicemail or on social media until after you return!

Shop Safely

*Keep your wallet in a tight location like a pants pocket or somewhere more secure in your purse rather than a loose location like your jacket pocket. It’s much more difficult for thieves to steal your wallet if it’s in a tighter location.

*If you’re using a purse, use one with one strap and keep it in front of you so that you may see it at all times. Never leave it on the ground or in the cart unattended.

*Cover your password if you use a public ATM in the mall so that potential thieves won’t be able to see any of your information.

*Carrying cash itself isn’t bad, but be sure not to carry too much in case it is misplaced or stolen.

*If you’re shopping online, be sure that you use official websites and use secure sites that implement https://. Read our blog here for more online shopping safety tips!

Remember, no line of defense against thieves is complete without an insurance plan. If you don’t have insurance yet or would like to revise your current policy, stop by our office at Madison Mutual Insurance Company and see how we can keep you and your family and everything that matters to you safe. Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com to get started! Have a wonderful holiday this year!