With the holiday shopping season upon us, the Naperville Police Department (NPD) released its tips for staying safe while purchasing anything online or at stores.
The list was a part of the NPD’s monthly “A Safer Naper” campaign.
Online shopping tips
The NPD recommends only purchasing items from familiar, secure websites.
“Never use your credit card to buy anything online from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed,” said the NPD in its campaign. “An SSL site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser or right next to the URL in the address bar.”
Police officials advise online shoppers buy goods with a credit card or using a secure payment service, rather than debit cards.
After a purchase is complete, the NPD reminds local residents to check bank statements regularly to make sure everything is in order. They recommend keeping a record of the following:
- the company name and website
- what you ordered, the date you ordered it, and what you paid
- the seller’s return policy
- the company’s promise to ship, and the date it made the promise
- all email, text, and other communication you have with the company
- your credit card or bank account statements that show how you paid
Holiday shopping delivery tips
When receiving a package at your place of residence, police officials recommend setting a scheduled time for it to arrive.
“Have your orders delivered on days that you are home,” said the NPD in its campaign. “Many shipping companies allow you to request a delivery time or time frame.”
The NPD also recommends requiring a signature and leaving delivery instructions.
In-store shopping safety tips
NPD officials say it is vital to protect yourself and your belongings while shopping.
“Walk with confidence and purpose,” said the NPD in its campaign. “Know what is going on around you and pay attention to your surroundings. Put your cell phone away and trust your instincts if something doesn’t look or feel right.”
The NPD recommends dressing casually and comfortably and avoiding wearing expensive jewelry. They also emphasized the importance of keeping your kids safe while shopping.
“Teach children to always stay close to you while shopping, but to go to a store clerk for help if they become separated from you,” said the NPD in its campaign. “Teach young children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security, and tell them to inform you immediately if a stranger is bothering them. Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom, and never let them go to the car alone or be left alone in the car.”
Photo courtesy: Naperville Police Department
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