2016-12-03 / Editorial

Tips for safe shopping during the holiday season

Editor’s note: As part of his dedication to community policing and making himself available to the public, Roxboro Police Chief David Hess and The Courier-Times have partnered together to print a monthly Chief’s Column, which will be published the first Saturday of each month. Personians can submit questions to the chief to be answered in the next edition and the chief will provide updates on community policing initiatives, safety awareness and other happenings in the city. In this 14th edition, the chief discusses safe holiday shopping tips.

A year ago, the police department promoted some shopping safety tips.

I received several thanks for providing those tips; therefore, I decided to share them again.

While you are out shopping, here are some guidelines to help protect you:

• Park in well-lit areas close to your destination. If shopping alone ask security personnel for an escort to your car.

• Carry your keys in your hand to use as a weapon if necessary.

• Place your gifts in the trunk or cover them so they are not a visible.

• When entering your car, remember E.L.F.S. — Enter the car, Lock the doors, Fasten seat belts and Scram.

• Pick restrooms in well-lit and high traffic areas of the major shopping complexes.

• Always accompany children to the restroom.

• Be mindful of your surroundings and the things you are carrying.

• Do not overload yourself with packages or become distracted by your cell phone.

• Always know where the closest exit is located in case of fire or another emergency

If you like to shop online, follow these guidelines:

• Install or update your antivirus and firewall software.

• Check a website’s security settings — look for a locked pad lock symbol in the URL or sites that begin with https://. These sites are considered secure.

• Shop trustworthy sites.

• Protect personal information — do not accept email invites for shopping from business or people you do not know.

• Beware of “too good to be true” deals — online deals offering more than 50 percent may be too good.

• Always pay with a credit card, not a debit card — credit cards have protections and ultimately do not change your quality of life if fraudulently used. If your debit card is fraudulently used, it may take the banks up to 72 or more hours to refund your hard-earned cash.

Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted.

When you unwrap your gift remember that the gift is covered in love.

We should love each other so much that our life demonstrates care for others.

Love makes up for a multitude of life’s ups and downs because love is a gift.

Those beautifully-wrapped gifts cost someone something as a tangible way of demonstrating love. There is a gift that is given freely to those who receive it.

“The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23, ESV).

God’s gift was demonstrated with love and without expectation.

“We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death” (Romans 5:8, MSG).

Know that you are loved no matter what your life story is.

For the gift of love is precious and free to those who want to receive.

Have a blessed weekend.

Return to top