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Protect yourself and your purchases this holiday season

Keeping home, purchases safe in holiday season

Holiday decorations and merchandise are already popping up at stores, so now's the time to plan for a safe holiday season. Keep these simple tips in mind to protect yourself, your purchases and your home.

When retail shopping:

• Don't carry large amounts of cash. Carry just one debit or credit card, and avoid leaving it out where others can read it.

• Shop with friends if possible.

• Don't overburden yourself with packages.

• Put purchases in the trunk of your car, out of sight.

• If you're continuing to shop, move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot.

• Observe and report suspicious behavior to police or store security.

• Lock your car doors as soon as you get in the car.

Shopping online:

• Shop secure sites. Look for the "https" in the browser address or for the padlock symbol on the Web page.

• Use a credit card instead of debit.

• Shop reliable, known sites.

At home:

• Remember, safety doesn't stop at the point of purchase. If you are not home to accept deliveries, have a neighbor bring packages in or arrange for delivery to a back door or less visible spot.

• Don't leave wrapped gifts visible through windows if you go away.

• Break down boxes and packaging from large purchases before discarding. A big box from your new plasma TV or computer system sitting at the curb is an invitation to burglars.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Tim Caddell , Pinellas Park government relations administrator

Protect yourself and your purchases this holiday season 10/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 4:31am]
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