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Festive Safety with SBD: Christmas Shopping

Sam Campbell, 27 November 2023

Here are some tips from Secured by Design on how to stay safe while shopping this festive season.

In person:

  • When out Christmas shopping, park safely. Never park in isolated, poorly lit or dark places - look for a Park Mark accredited car park to know steps have been taken to ensure a safer visit.
  • Check that your car is locked before you leave it – double check if you’re not sure! Better safe than sorry.
  • Don’t leave valuables, bags or gifts on display in your car.
  • Keep your bags, handbags, wallets and mobile and other belongings safe. Busy places make it easier for a sneak thief, so be alert at all times.
  • Be cautious when using ATMs or making card payments at the till. Always cover your PIN number when entering it.


  • When shopping somewhere new - do you recognise the website? Trust the retailer? Is the price just too tempting? Remember – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Always use trusted websites and stick to their recommended payment process. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar and check the domain name to ensure there’s an ‘s’ on the end of ‘http’ which indicates the site is secure.
  • Ensure the web address is what you expect it to be, especially if you land there from clicking a link. Keep an eye out for tricks, such as an r and n together ‘rn’ looking like an m.
  • Fraudsters will list products for sale that don’t exist. Are all the images copied from a web search? Poor seller reviews? Being asked to make a payment outside of an auction site’s normal process? Treat an electronic payment like you would cash – don’t send one to somebody you don’t know and trust.
  • Only buy gift cards from a reputable retailer, or direct from the company they’re for. Scammers offering discounted gift cards might well be selling you one they've already used.
  • Having parcels delivered, but may be out? Be sure to make suitable secure delivery arrangements to reduce the risk of theft.


For more information, visit our Crime Prevention & Security Advice hub