|With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day right around the corner, the Kingsport Police Department is encouraging citizens to make crime prevention and safety a priority throughout the holiday season.
Tips for Home:
1) Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave home.
2) If you have an alarm, set it…especially when you are away or asleep.
3) Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
4) Leave lights and a radio or television on timers when you are away.
5) Have a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative collect your mail and newspaper when you are away.
6) Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. They may take advantage of your increased generosity during the holidays.
7) Avoid leaving boxes and packing materials from expensive purchases out on the curb for trash pickup.
8) Don’t advertise that you are away from home. Never discuss your travel plans on social media.
Tips for Shopping in Stores:
1) Shop before dark if possible. Never park in an unlit area, no matter how convenient it is.
2) Practice safety in numbers…coordinate shopping trips with a friend.
3) Keep your vehicle’s doors locked and valuables out of plain sight. Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle’s trunk.
4) Avoid carrying or flaunting large amounts of cash. Use a credit or debit card. When entering a PIN, shield the keypad from view.
5) To avoid purse snatchers and pickpockets, don’t overburden yourself with packages.
6) Ladies should keep their purse secured on their person with a strap and never place it in a shopping cart.
7) Be constantly aware of your surroundings.
8) Be on high alert if approached by a complete stranger asking for assistance. Thieves often work in pairs or teams.
Tips for Online Shopping:
1) Use a good anti-malware program to secure your computer from viruses and other attacks.
2) Optimize your computer’s security settings. Install security updates as they become available.
3) Share payment information only with known or reputable vendors.
4) Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have limits, and it is much easier to dispute a charge on a credit card than on a debit card.
5) Make sure the order checkout area is encrypted. Look for the padlock icon and the website address beginning with “https” rather than just “http.”
6) Print and save a copy of your orders.
7) Use strong passwords that would not be easy for a criminal to guess.
8) Check your account statements often. Fraudulent charges are only disputable if reported in a timely manner.
9) Be wary of rock bottom prices that are significantly cheaper than every other online vendor. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Tips for Winter Travel:
1) Have your vehicle inspected by a reputable mechanic before your leave. Be sure and check fluids, tire tread, tire pressure, wipers, fuel level, etc.
2) Plan your route as well as an alternate route.
3) Stock your vehicle with basic winter weather emergency survival items such as a cell phone and charger cord, flashlight, ice scraper, sand or cat litter for traction, blankets, water and snacks, first aid kit, and jumper cables.
4) Leave an hour early so you are not rushed.
5) Make frequent rest stops to avoid fatigue.
6) Tell someone you trust when you plan on leaving, where you are going, and when you expect to arrive.
7) Never drive under the influence or drowsy, and avoid distractions.
The Kingsport Police Department would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a Safe and Merry Christmas, and a Crime-Free New Year!