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Monday, May 20, 2024

Focus on Safety – Shop smart


Whether you shop online or in person this holiday season, the Naperville Police Department wants to remind everyone to be safe.

When shopping online make sure to:

  • Use familiar websites: Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example).
  • Use credit cards and secure payment services instead of debit cards: Credit cards and secure payment services are safer than debit cards and offer consumers additional protection when shopping online.
  • Look for the lock: Never use your credit card to buy anything online from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. An SSL site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). 
  • Never use public Wi-Fi to make purchases: One of the biggest risks associated with using public Wi-Fi is that it can be unsecured and vulnerable to attack.
  • Check banking statements: Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic credit card, debit card and checking account statements for fraudulent charges.
  • Use strong passwords: Use a unique password for each of your accounts.

After shopping online consider these tips when having packages delivered to your home:

Schedule packages to arrive when you’re home: Have your orders delivered on days that you are home. Many shipping companies allow you to request a delivery time or time frame.

Trusted neighbor: Enable a trusted neighbor to pick up packages shortly after they are delivered.

Enable notifications sent to your smartphone. Receive tracking alerts and delivery information to quickly retrieve your package once it’s delivered.

Require signature for delivery: When you want to be sure important or valuable items are not left unattended.

Have packages delivered to another location: Consider alternative delivery locations such as a workplace or office, a family member, neighbors or smart lockers.

Leave delivery instructions: Request your packages be placed in a less conspicuous spot, such as a side or back door or behind a planter, or a location not visible from the street.

When shopping in store make sure to:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Know what is going on around you and pay attention to your surroundings. Put your cell phone away and trust your intuition if something doesn’t look or feel right.
  • Guard your purse/wallet: Always keep your purse closed and close to your body, wearing across your body if possible. Never leave a purse on the back of a chair or unattended in your shopping cart.
  • Be smart with cash and credit cards: Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and leave credit cards that you never use at home.
  • Be ready: Walk with confidence and purpose and have your keys ready before you get to your vehicle. Don’t overload yourself with packages, keeping your hands free.
  • Lock it or lose it: Don’t forget to lock your vehicle, keeping any valuables at home or out of sight by placing them in the trunk or using stow-and-go seating before arriving at your destination.

For more information on shopping safety this holiday season, visit www.naperville.il.us/ASaferNaper.

Until next month… Stay Aware & Stay Safe.

Editor’s Note / Also stay aware and safe by always calling 9-1-1 if you see something suspicious. Never assume that law enforcement already knows. As Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres emphasized at the Nov. 7, 2023, City Council meeting, “If you see something, say something. Call 9-1-1.”

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Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.


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