Black Friday is supposed to mark the start of the giving season, a time when we cherish our families and spend time together. But in reality, for many of us, Black Friday can feel more like a bare-knuckle brawl to find the best deals and get the perfect presents.
If you’ve ever witnessed how bad a Black Friday can be, you already know it’s important to take care of yourself and stay safe. From data breaches to fist fights, remember these important Black Friday safety tips for your shopping adventure.
- While in crowds, keep your purse close to your body so it’s difficult to grab or keep your wallet in an inside pocket so it can’t be easily taken.
- Wait until the cashier asks for payment before taking cash or credit cards out of your wallet.
- If possible, use one credit card for all your purchases. If a data breach happens in a store, you’ll have fewer compromised cards, and it’ll be easier to keep up with the activity on the card.
- Hold onto all receipts and monitor the activity on your accounts to make sure they match up.
- When shopping with children, have a plan if you get separated. Set a central meeting place and make sure everyone knows who to approach if they need help — police officer, security officers, store employee, etc.
- Be patient and careful in parking lots. Slow down and keep your eyes open for pedestrians and other cars.
- Take your time backing out of parking spots to avoid collisions.
- Park in well-lit and well-populated areas, especially if you’re shopping before the sun comes up or after it’s gone down.
- While walking through the parking lot, hold onto your keys. They can be an effective weapon if someone thinks you look vulnerable.
- Store your purchases in your trunk (the ideal spot) or simply out of site. Keep a blanket or tarp in your vehicle to help hide your bags from view if needed.
- Avoid confrontations with other shoppers. The hot item everyone wants isn’t worth getting into a fight.
- Make a plan for where you want to shop and the things you want to buy before you arrive. This can help you map a route, avoid the largest crowds, and prioritize which must-have items you want to get.
- Drink plenty of water and eat when you’re hungry. If you don’t want to stop while the deals are hot, bring snacks with you.
- Rest and take breaks as the shopping trip winds down. Making yourself sick isn’t how you should end a (hopefully) fun and exciting time out.
- When you shop online, only use websites that have the security lock in the browser and whose URL begins with https — this means their website is secure.
While the Christmas season should be a time of joy and fun, dishonest people and our impatience can lead to accidents, theft, and other safety concerns. Take necessary precautions and keep yourself and your family safe on Black Friday.