Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy (safe) Shopping

We've been standing in line for just over 45 minutes. Our fingers are frozen so our hands are jammed into our pockets. Swaying back and forth in an attempt to keep warm I look at my sister whose eyes are watering as she bounces on her toes - her own attempt to stir up body heat. It's nearly 5 AM and we are standing in line outside a department store, waiting for the shop to open so we can have our way with the holiday doorbusters. When the time comes the line starts moving forward and I notice others getting out of their car and moving towards the doors. 

Wait a minute. They aren't getting in line with the rest of us - they are actually just going in the door. Furious that I've had to stand outside freezing and they've kept warm in their cars, I point it out to one of the store clerks who simply shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes. He could care less. And I realized in that moment how completely stupid we were. What those people did certainly wasn't fair, but I was the one that choose to stand outside in 30 degree weather.

That was seven years ago and I haven't been Black Friday shopping since. Instead, I stay home and listen to the Thanksgiving day parade while browsing the online shops for the nearly the exact same doorbuster deals. And I finish all of my holiday shopping. No lines. No cold weather. Safe and happily shopping from home. 

Except it's not entirely safe. It can be, but there are some appropriate measures that need to be taken. So when I came across this graphic from Lifelock, I knew it was great information to share. They also put together 15 tips that you should definitely check out before "checking out". (Sorry, I couldn't resist the play on words.) Some of the ones I didn't consider about before reading it include checking website security, keeping on top of your receipts and statements, using a VPN.  I also really recommend using one email address for all of your shopping so all receipts and confirmations are in one place.

Also, to reassure you, all of the items listed in my holiday gift guide are from reputable sources, which will make things just a little bit easier on you. If you have any concerns about online shopping or ID theft, make sure to check out LifeLock's graphic above. Best of luck!