It's the last week before Christmas and lots of us will be out there doing our last minute shopping...or if you're like me all of your shopping.
As we stroll through the malls and shops, humming the carols that are streaming through the speakers thinking well wishes are our fellow man, there are those out there that are just waiting for us to fill our hands up with bags of goodies, that are just waiting for us to become distracted..so they can take advantage of our trusting natures..especially this time of year.
Here are some general safety tips that if you haven't been using already might want to adopt while out there this week as well as all year through.
1. Always know where your money and credit cards are at all times. You don't need to carry with you every single credit card you own, checkbook..and I shouldn't have to say this your Social Security Card. It's good practice to keep your cash in a pocket or someplace seperate than your purse (pocketbook for those east coasters). Men can do the same with their wallets perhaps putting some money in a shirt pocket.
2. Never leave your bags unattended. When you are shopping for lots of gifts, you have many bags. These get put on the floor when purchasing stuff, eating at the food court, and yes, when using the restroom. It might not be a bad idea if you have soooo many bags to put some in your trunk and go back to shopping.
3. Be aware of the many scams out there..the bump and distract tactics that some thieves today use.
4. When going to your car, be very aware of your surroundings. Often, parking close is harder this time of year and many of us will start shopping not realizing how dark it gets quickly out there. Try to park under a light if possible so when you do come out it is more visible. Look under your car as you approach as well as in the back seat area if you can. If there is a van parked next to the drivers side, you might want to approach with caution as it's easy for a van door to open and pull you in.
5. If at any time you are feeling followed (this happened to me long ago) and have that gut feeling..get a security guard to walk you to your car. Period.
6. This ones for us woman..we are in general way to trusting so tune in to your gut instincts as mentioned above.
7. If you are with kids, have a meeting place should one get lost. Nowadays we all have cell phones which can help here, but still good to have a backup plan should one of your younguns get lost. On this note it's always a good thing to have a "code" word for your kids. One that you tell them to ask if someone they don't know is saying you tolk them to go with them.
If God forbid you are approached or attacked. If a man attacking, most of us are taught to go for the groin area. Some better places to go for are the nose and eyes. Use your fingers and elbows as they are very sharp.
This list might sound a bit paranoid, but I am a firm believer of being aware, as there are people out there that are just not like us. No material items are worth your life.
On that note, have a very safe and happy holiday!
Feel free to add any other safety tips that I've missed..as I'm sure there are lots of them!