It's holiday time and for most people, their security and privacy are not foremost in their thoughts. Yet many hazards and threats are more prevalent during this season of the year. Shopping safely locally and online and safety around the home are important. Here are some tips and resources to help keep you and your family safe and your sensitive information secure.

Shopping Locally

Take care when parking your car. Don't forget to lock it. If it's dark, park under a light. Try not to park between large vehicles that can hide yours.

Don't leave packages, phones, and other valuables visible. Put them in the trunk or under cover. Better yet leave non-essential valuables at home. Here's a reason to remember to do this, most auto insurance will not cover the loss of items in the car. Homeowner's or rental insurance might cover it but you have to pay the deductible first.

Shopping Online

Watch out for online scams. During this time of the year, scammers ramp up their efforts to steal financial and personal information. Fake websites, too-good-to-be-true offers, and enticing deals are just some of the ways you can be targeted. Check website names for proper spelling and domains other than .com or .org. Type URLs in your browser instead of clicking on a link in an email or social media.

Delivered packages stolen from your door. These thefts increase during the holidays. If possible have your package delivered to your office or a friend or neighbor who will be home. Some deliveries can be scheduled for a particular time.

Safety Around the Home

Fire prevention. Be careful with where flammable materials are placed in relation to candles and other heat sources such as space heaters, radiators and fireplaces. Before using electrical cords check for cracking or fraying. Don't overload electrical cords or outlets. Check how many strings of lights can be safely strung together. Keep an eye on anything that is cooking.

Hazard prevention. Decorations and the electrical cords that power them can be dangerous inside and out. Improperly placed cords can be trip hazards. Unsecured decorations can be dangerous to children, pets, and even adults. Take care with running cords to outlets so that they can't be stepped on. Secure trees and other decorations so that they can't be pulled down or upset by pets or children.

For More Information

Check out these resources for more holiday safety tips.

Shopping and Your Privacy from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

From Consumer Reports

Safe Shopping from the American Bar Association

Tips to avoid common holiday hazards, including package theft from Clark Howard

Holiday Health and Safety Tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season from the National Safety Council