6 Tips to Safe Holiday Shopping
Even though we know that the reason for the season doesn’t necessarily mean holiday shopping, it’s certainly a hot topic every year around our community. Holiday shopping around the nation has steadily increased year after year, and with the pandemic, sales have increased even more. Overall holiday sales in the United States are expected to grow 8.5-10.5% this year. Compared to 2020, online sales during the holiday season are expected to increase by 11-15% alone! 1 Forty percent of consumers say that heightened media coverage about supply chain issues will accelerate shopping earlier this year due to this concern about 40% of consumers say.2
With this growth, our experts at Waldo State Bank are providing safety tips for holiday shopping. Whether you’re shopping small at your local boutique or online at a large retailer, these tips are important to keep in mind.
Holiday Shopping In-Store
Shop with a buddy
Shopping is always more fun with another person, but it also increases your safety. Having a buddy while you’re shopping in-store makes it more difficult for someone to target you. This also helps with the number of items you can purchase during your shopping trip. Friends and family can help with carrying bags and packages to your car.3
Keep things close
Keep your personal belongings close to you at all times. How easy would it be for someone to take your things if you leave your wallet or purse out of reach in your shopping cart while you are looking away? 4
Wait to Pay
If you’re standing in line, ready to purchase something, you may be tempted to get ready and pull out your checkbook or reach for your credit/debit card. We suggest waiting until it’s time to pay. Wandering eyes may be able to see personal information on your card and the pin pad.5
Online Holiday Shopping
Shop from trusted online retailers and secure sites
Before you start buying gifts for mom and dad, make sure you’re shopping on a secure network and avoid public WiFi. 6 Then, make sure that you’re checking the authenticity of the retailer you buy from online. Secure websites to shop from usually start with “https,” and have a lock icon in the corner of your URL bar to tell you that the web page you’re on has privacy protection. Also, watch out for those “too good to be true” deals! They may appear from retailers that are less than trustworthy.7
Alternative forms of payment
There are alternative forms of payment that could help you make safe transactions while online shopping, including, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay to name a few. These digital wallets provide an extra layer of protection that hides your personal information from the online store.8 For those more comfortable shopping without a PIN, credit cards are also a good option.
After the gifts are purchased
Protect your bank account even after you’ve bought all the gifts and baubles. Save all your receipts and payment confirmations from your online purchases. Regularly check your online statements and accounts to ensure that no necessary withdrawals occurred.9 This is made easy with online banking. The more often you check your account, the quicker you can spy on unauthorized transactions.
Whether you’re shopping in-store or in your pajamas, we encourage you to check your financial status during holiday shopping regularly. And if you’re on the go, check on the activity on your online or mobile app. For Waldo State Bank customers, our free mobile banking provides safety protocols that include SecurLock – providing you with the ability to turn off your card if necessary.
As always, if you need guidance in helping you with your banking needs, contact Waldo State Bank today.