Legal tips for safe holiday shopping

Protect yourself this holiday season

Published On: Nov 20 2013 12:27:31 PM EST

By Karen Holly, Special to THELAW.TV

Criminals know when to strike. According to the Tulsa Police Department, the holidays set the perfect stage for robbery: you're busy buying gifts, distracted from everyday life by the flurry of holiday activites, and your guard may be down. After all, it's tough to consider getting robbed while Christmas music is playing in the background.

No matter where you are this holiday season, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your assets.

Step one: Out shopping

It is during the holiday season that shoppers may be too preoccupied to notice their surroundings, says the Baltimore Police Department.

Step two: Shopping online

Before you even consider surfing the Internet for holiday gifts, make sure to secure your personal computers by updating your security software, warns the National Crime Prevention Council. At a minimum, everyone's computer should have anti-spyware software, anti-spam software, a good firewall and anti-virus software.

Step three: Using your vehicle as Santa’s delivery truck

The Broward County Sheriff's Office warns shoppers that vehicles are big targets to criminals.

Step four: Giving to charity

According to the Lincoln, Neb., Police Department, some scammers have been known to pose as charity volunteers collecting donations.

The author, Karen Holly, has been an insurance agent for more than 10 years and shares her auto, life, and home insurance expertise on her company's blog.