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Indiana Department of Homeland Security

IDHS > About IDHS > Get Prepared > Holiday Shopping Safety Holiday Shopping Safety

Online Shopping Safety3567_1

 

Retail Fire Safety

 

Holiday Gift Ideas

 

 

Online Shopping Safety

Holiday e-mail Safety

  • Email advertisement and spam traffic may increase during the holiday season. If the subject of an email from a known or unknown sender seems suspicious, delete the email without opening it. If an advertisement or other offer sounds too good to be true, it may be. Check it out through a reliable source.
  • Never open email attachments or follow embedded links from senders whom you do not know.
  • Never convey personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc., in emails.

Online Shopping Safety

  • Keep any virus protection or other computer security software updated on the computer you intend to use for online shopping.
  • Make sure your Internet connection is secure. Before you give your payment information, check for indicators that security software is in place.
  • Use complex passwords to safeguard personal information like credit card numbers and billing addresses. A combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (&, ^, %) offers the most protection.
  • Avoid visiting unknown web pages. Malicious software could be downloaded.  Stick to shopping only well-known, reputable sites.

Safe Online Purchasing

  • When making online purchases with a credit or debit card, use a secure online escrow broker to provide payment.
  • If available, consider using your bank’s virtual credit card service. Virtual credit cards can only be used once and usually expire in 24 hours.
  • Make sure you print or save a soft copy of every transaction receipt in case there is confusion later about payment.

Retail Fire Safety

Retail outlets are often crowded with merchandise and people this time of year.  Make sure you know how to get out of every building you visit in case there is a fire.

  • Be aware of your surroundings in any store or building, and know where the exits are located. Periodically, take a moment to reorient yourself to these exits while you are shopping.  
  • Notify building security or another employee if you notice exits that are blocked with merchandize, displays or other items.
  • If a fire alarm sounds, leave your shopping carts and bags and evacuate the building immediately. No bargain is worth ignoring a fire alarm.
  • Retail store owners and employees should be aware of building occupancy limits and attentive to potential overcrowding. If a consumer thinks a building may be filled past capacity, they should notify a store employee or consider returning to that store later. 
  • If retailers are closely monitoring occupancy levels they may ask you to wait before entering the store until another patron exits to avoid exceeding building capacity. Please follow these directions or consider returning to the store when it is less crowded.

For holiday shopping tips on avoiding theft and parking lot safety visit the Indiana State Police website at www.in.gov/isp.