How do you stay safe at Christmas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…excitable children, presents, good food and time to relax with family and friends and enjoy quality time with those you love the most.
And yet, while we hate to be the bearers of bad news, it’s also a time to remember how to keep safe. Christmas is a time where thieves are rife and we need to remember both online and offline to keep our eyes peeled.
Here at WOT, we’ve rounded up our top tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.
Christmas Security Tips
1. Christmas Tree Safety
According to reports by the National Fire Protection Association, every Christmas, fire departments respond to an average of 210 Christmas tree fires nationally. And while tree fires aren’t that common when they do happen, they can be very serious.
To make sure your tree doesn’t blow up in flames, make sure it’s at least three feet away from all heat sources – such as fireplaces, radiators and heat vents. If you have a real tree, remember to keep it watered and make sure you choose a sturdy base for both real and fake trees to ensure that they don’t tip over.
2. Lights with Certification Marks
When buying Christmas lights, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations or any form of electrical appliance this holiday season, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA to ensure that the products comply with safety standards and performance regulations.
3. Secure the House
There’s no better battle cry or memorable quote from a film, then ‘this is my house, I have to defend it,’ the words of a little boy about to unleash a deluge of booby traps onto unsuspecting burglars. Yep, you guessed it, we’re talking about Kevin from the 90’s Christmas classic, Home Alone.
However, on a serious note – to avoid ending up in Kevins position – if you’re headed out of town for an extended period of time over the holiday season you should do more than just lock up.
Make sure a neighbour you trust is aware that you’ll be out of town and to keep an eye on things for you. Have the local post office stop your mail and keep some lights on – inside and outside the house on timers so they go on and off at random times during the night.
4. Road Safety
Follow the rules of the road and avoid speeding, even if it means you’ll be a little late for a Christmas party. Put your safety first this holiday season and always remember to stop and take a nap should you feel sleepy on a long journey to avoid fatigue.
Additionally, never drive after drinking and limit distractions while on the road including those of your mobile device – don’t use your phone unless yo use it hands free.
5. Online Shopping Fraud
Unfortunately, there are some nasty sides to the holiday season and online shopping fraud is one of them. While you’re shopping for gifts online, check the website address if spelt correctly – fraudulent websites with similar spelling can often trick you into giving away your credit card information.
When checking out, be sure that they payment page address begins with ‘https’ as the ‘s’ stands for secure and never, ever click a link from an unsolicited email.
6. Festive Emails
Think before you open festive emails and especially if you do choose to open them, then watch out for suspicious links. Cyber criminals use these as a way to target innocent people so make sure you stay safe while online over the festivities.
7. Location Sharing
Want to check in somewhere special on Facebook? Think twice before doing this. Be very careful oversharing your location while you’re not at home as you may let the wrong people know that your house is empty and you could be a million miles away without any way to protect it. Only share such information with people you trust and less check in and places on social media as you never know who is behind the screen.
8. Secure Websites
Remember to only shop on secure websites this Christmas. Christmas is a great time to bad a bargain online however you need to make sure you and your credit information is protected by shopping online from secure and trusted retailers only. To make sure this is the case, check out the WOT scorecard for each site you visit. For example, if you’re shopping on Amazon – Amazon’s scorecard shows how safe the site is. Check it out here and feel free to search for more!
So, there you have it! If you were wondering how can we keep safe at home AND online this holiday season, we hope we’ve answered all your worries!
Stay safe out there and have a great Christmas and New Year!