5 ways to have a safe, stress-free festive season
1. Be scam aware when shopping online
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Scammers have become super adept at creating emails and even websites that look like the real deal from big brands such as Lego and Apple. Always check a site's URL box to ensure the web address starts with "https" and includes the company name, and that it also has a padlock symbol. Also, rather than use a link in an email, open your browser and type in the company's web address, and try to pay using a secure system like PayPal, rather than providing your credit card details.
2. Keep pressies out of sight
Shopping for Christmas presents, wrapping them and putting them under the tree can be loads of fun. But thieves are always looking for an easy opportunity to take off with your stuff. If you park in a shopping centre car park, keep your purchases safely out of sight in the boot. And when you put your gifts under the tree, make sure they can't be seen from outside through a window.
3. Cut up boxes and packaging
Once you've opened your presents, be sure to cut up the box it came in and put it into your recycling bin (providing it's recyclable). Don't leave empty boxes outside or stacked beside your bin, where they can be seen from the street. Those empty boxes that your flatscreen TV, laptop, PlayStation, tablet, camera or phone came in, advertise to opportunistic thieves all the shiny new things you have in your home.
4. Watch out for each other
When Christmas and the New Year come around, it means party season is usually in full swing. No matter what your party style, be safe and watch out for each other. If your ride to the party is all sorted, then be sure to plan a safe ride home before you go. Take your phone, ID and enough cash to cover any unexpected emergencies. Drink safely and within your limits and keep an eye on your drink at all times. Watch out for your friends, stay alert and walk with others in well-lit, populated areas. So have fun, be safe and let's watch out for each other.
5. Don't leave your door unlocked for Santa.
These days a lot of homes either don't have chimneys or they're too small for Santa to squeeze down. But that doesn't mean you need to leave a window or door unlocked for him (no matter how tempting the hot temperatures might make it). He is magical and can put presents under your tree without ever needing to turn a handle. One in five burglaries occur through an unlocked door or window. So reduce the chance of yours being one of them by keeping doors and windows locked at all times.