KINGSPORT – With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years 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)‚ ‚ Dont 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)‚ ‚ Dont 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 vehicles doors locked and valuables out of plain sight.‚ Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicles 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, dont 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 computers 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!