'Black Friday': AlertID works to help families keep children safe on the busiest shopping day of the yearby jmaloni
"Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving, is the most anticipated shopping day of the year. It is also one of the most anticipated days of the year for thieves and predators.
AlertID helps consumers protect their families with "Black Friday" shopping safety tips developed by The National Crime Prevention Council, and its symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog.
- If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help. You can use AlertID's "My Family Wallet" to keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically. Should children go missing, this information can be sent quickly to law enforcement when every moment counts. Also, AlertID's secure social network can be used to create groups with family members so that one can quickly send alerts to all of them at once if an issue arises.
- Do not buy more than you can carry. Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in, and do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
- Be informed about your surroundings and plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car. One can use AlertID's free mobile app to receive alerts about registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of shopping venues.
- Consider alternate options to pay for merchandise, such as one-time or multi-use disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites. Wait until asked before taking out a credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get account information.
- Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
- Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit. You can also take a picture with AlertID's free mobile application to report the incident to law enforcement.
"Shopping on 'Black Friday' is one of the most highly anticipated activities of the year for many families," said Keli Wilson, mom of three and founder of AlertID. "By keeping these tips in mind, everyone can help ensure not only a fun shopping experience, but also a safe one."
AlertID is an established leader in making the country's public safety information universally accessible, helping people protect their families and communities. Alerts are provided by trusted sources, including public safety agencies, local law enforcement, schools, neighborhood groups, neighbors, family members and friends.