8 Tips for Safe Holiday Shopping While Traveling

Online and In-Store Transactions Can Pose Perils

Shopping at Sheremetyevo International Airport

Shopping at Sheremetyevo International Airport

By Paul Riegler on 24 November 2014
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Many frequent travelers do a good part of their holiday shopping while on the road, both in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online.

However, the challenge of unfamiliar surroundings, as well as the potential for insecure Internet connections, can turn an ordinary shopping expedition into a beast of nightmarish proportions.

Here are tips for safe shopping both online and off, at home and away.

Shopping in Stores

1.) Don’t overload yourself with packages to the point of distraction.

2.)Carry the credit card(s) you are going to use in your pocket to avoid having to take out your wallet, or use Apple Pay, which only requires removing your iPhone from your pocket. If you do carry a wallet or purse, keep it in a secure place. Keep your wallet in a front pocket, not in the hip pocket. If you must use an ATM, use your hand as a shield over the keypad when you enter your PIN as criminals have been known to place cameras in strategic locations to capture this information.

3.) Be wary of strangers approaching you whatever the reason and avoid eye contact. Con artists may try to distract you long enough to take your wallet, money, or other belongings.

4.) If driving, do not leave packages visible in your car.

Shopping Online

1.) Before making purchases, ensure that your computer’s operating system and anti-malware programs are fully up-to-date.

2.) Beware of pop-up ads from unfamiliar companies or even from familiar sounding names. Shop only from online stores you know and trust.

3.) Do not use the same user name on each account. Vary each, such as MaxBergdorf for Bergdorf-Goodman and MaxBarneys for Barneys.

4.) Use strong passwords. By definition, a strong password is a minimum of eight characters long, does not contain your user name, real name, or company name, and does not consist of a complete dictionary word. It should be different from previous and other passwords and should be a mixture of uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers, and a symbol, an example being “Ac23-UL2q-4TTx.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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