Safety is not just a concern on the field and you should be vigilant and act wisely when doing your holiday shopping—you never know who’s watching

At MyMRI, we are all about safety and prevention. After all, when you make sound decisions that prevent injury and have a proactive plan using our First Response System, you can have peace of mind anytime your team of athletes enters a field, court or gym. Prevention is always your first line of defense, but we can often lose focus and this month’s awareness article is for you to be mindful of your focus during the Holidays.

With this in mind, this holiday season we want to make sure you remain safe when doing your holiday shopping since there are plenty of threats that can hinder your Christmas or Chanukah celebration. And safety does not require a MyMRI sticker or label—it starts with having common sense and remaining focused on not just the joys and reason for the season, but also about the challenges that the season can bring.

Here are the top seven ways to stay safe when shopping for gifts during the holidays:

  1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Many times, the excitement of arriving at the mall or a shopping center can keep you from realizing that someone may be watching you. And in many cases, they are hoping that in your shopping excitement you will forget to lock your car doors—and that’s when you come back to a car without sunglasses or other personal items. Finally, walk away from your parked car by looking around. This will let any thieves know that you are on the lookout.
  2. Move Your Car After Loading it with Gifts: Thieves are always on the lookout for people bringing back gifts to put them in their car, only to return to the mall and do more shopping. To remain safe, always place your gifts in the trunk of your car or if you have an SUV, cover them up after putting them in your holding trunk. And after you do this, get inside your car and drive around the parking lot a couple of times and park in a different parking spot.
  3. Do Not Post Gift Photos on Social Media: There are two ways in which thieves can hurt you. One is to break into your home when you aren’t home because you are shopping at the mall. But another way is when thieves visit your home because they know just what gifts you got for Christmas. Start by refraining from posting photos of that new widescreen TV or gaming console—and then be sure to breakdown their cardboard boxes so no one knows what you got by rummaging through trash cans.
  4. Keep Your Children at Your Side at All Times: Every holiday season we have to hear about the sad stories of missing children. There are many predators out there who know that children will be out and about with their parents while they shop at the mall. But despite security cameras and loss prevention surveillance staff, children are still abducted right under everyone’s noses. Train your children to be vigilant, wary and above all—to scream and kick if anyone tries to grab them in a public place.
  5. Stare at Suspicious Individuals to Deter Them: A proven way to deter someone from committing a petty crime is to look at them in the eyes. Most thieves or predators aim at detaching themselves emotionally from those they intend to harm or steal from, and by looking at them, they will know that you are more likely to identify them in the event there is car break-in or if they try to lure a child away from the parents.
  6. Use RFID Protective Sleeves for Chip Credit Cards: Identity theft has evolved from taking your name and social security number, to the scanning of credit or debit cards equipped with a chip—only to be cloned and used somewhere else as if they were your very own charge card. To protect yourself, shop for RFID protective sleeves, which you can get them for a fair amount on eBay, Amazon and other online retailers.
  7. Ship Online Shopping Products to Your Workplace: Online shopping continues to be on the rise and you may receive a package from Amazon or other ecommerce shops while you are at work or shopping at the mall. More and more, we hear of people’s packages being stolen right from their front door. To remove that threat, consider having the packages shipped to your workplace or to a friend or relative who works from home. These locations are less likely to have a package sitting by the door, inviting unscrupulous thieves to do their own shopping on your dime.

Remember, do not be deterred to shop this holiday season. Simply heed the advice we’ve shared and if you know anyone who may need to know about these tips—please share them on social media or via email.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season and let’s look forward to an amazing New Year 2018!