While the Christmas season is a time for giving, for thieves and burglars, it is a unique season for taking your hard-earned money, gifts and possessions. They may ultimately rob you of all the joy and sense of goodness that the holidays are all about. We must also be security conscious as there are people out there with a different agenda from ours. For this reason, we can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware.
Here are some security tips that can be of great value during this yuletide season.
• Park your cars in a well-lighted area.
• Avoid driving alone especially at night.
• Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Also ensure to set your alarm and other anti-theft devices.
• Don’t park your car too far from your destination and always take note of where your car is parked.
• Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
• Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
• If there are suspicious people in the area, ask the mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location. Do not approach your car alone.
Using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
• Avoid using an ATM in isolated locations.
• If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located in a well-lighted location with people around.
• Do not use your date of birth as your ATM PIN.
• Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
• Withdraw only the amount of cash that you need.
• Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
• Avoid using the ATM after dark unless it is well lit and well secured.
• Watch out for people loitering around the ATM.
• Cancel your transaction, walk away and use a different ATM if you notice suspicious behaviour.
• Have your card out and ready to use before you get to the machine.
• Don’t linger at the ATM to count your cash; leave quickly once transaction has been completed.
• Don’t disclose your card details to anyone. You can hotlist your stolen GTBank ATM card via Internet banking, GTConnect or send HOTLIST <Nuban> to 08076665555.
• If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
• Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
• Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
• Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
• Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
• It is advisable to shop during the day, but if you must shop at night, ensure to go with a friend or family member.
• Avoid wearing expensive items when shopping.
• Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
• Even when in a rush and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
• Avoid carrying cash as much as possible. Pay for purchases with your debit card.
• Keep available cash in your front pocket.
• Notify your bank immediately if your debit card is lost or stolen.
• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.
• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
• Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
• Increase your home security by installing solid core doors, heavy duty locks and other security devices.
• Avoid promotional scams; fraudsters use them to get your personal information.
• Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work and at home as well as documents containing sensitive personal information.
• Carry only the identification information and the number of bank cards that you actually need.
• Don’t use the same password for everything: create multiple passwords and change them regularly.
• Don’t disclose your identification details to anyone. If you suspect a compromise, immediately change your passwords and alert the relevant authorities.
• Don’t leave security devices such as tokens, keys etc. exposed; always ensure they are safely kept.
• Keep your bags and valuables out of sight, make use of your glove compartment or boot.
• Keep your car doors locks and windows wound up.
• Avoid street hawkers (some may be street robbers in disguise).
• Don’t be distracted while driving; pay attention to your surroundings.
The above tips could set us in the right direction for a safe Christmas celebration. For more security tips, please visit our security centre.