After a while we are back with a security article focusing on crimes, because we are midway through the summer holiday season and more and more people write to us about the increasing number of online criminal activity. Criminals take advantage of the seasonal chaos and the good nature of people by committing some of the worst crimes imaginable. In this article we would like to inform you about the most common holiday crimes, not only online, that you should be aware of.
I would like to start with home burglary, because this kind of crime is “very popular” especially during the holidays, mainly because people tend to share their photos and traveling statuses on social networks. Burglars tend to break into homes that are easy to access and they usually steal items that they can quickly and inconspicuously carry, such as laptops, electronics, jewelry and cash. The risk of being burgled is always there, but homeowners can take effective measures to protect their house and belongings. Please, be careful what and with who you are sharing information about leaving your home.
Identity theft is a risk for virtually everyone, even more so during the holidays because students have more time and they very often figure on both sides of “hackers” and “victims”, so the crimes increase rapidly.
Thieves are online and offline, waiting to steal your personal information, credit card number, and Social Security number, and use it to commit crimes. Thieves can steal your identity in various ways, such as skimming, phishing, pretexting and old-fashioned stealing. As common as identity theft is during the holidays, there are many ways to protect yourself and your finances from being compromised, such as reviewing your monthly statements, balancing your checkbook, reviewing your credit reports and securing your personal information.
Victims are less careful because they use their credit cards, passwords and other secret information more, thanks to the fact they have more time during holiday, and usually spend more money during this time.
Vehicle burglaries are not an online problem and it happens all year long, but it is far worse around the holidays. Thieves know that shoppers leave expensive gifts in the car and that they could be gone for hours. It doesn’t take much for criminals to see what’s inside your car and figure out a way to steal your valuables. The good news is drivers can prevent auto burglaries by taking some simple, but effective preventative steps, such as locking the doors, hiding your valuables, and taking the keys with you. Of course, avoid leaving gadgets, valuables and personal thing in cars, especially on visible places.
Again, this crime is from my point of view connected with students and children looking for “fun” so shoplifting is one of the most common crimes committed during the holidays, shoplifters have more opportunities to take advantage of the large crowds and distracted workers. According to Adweek, one in every 11 people engages in shoplifting and with the recession still in full swing, that number could be much higher.
The holidays are a time for fun and celebration, but they are unfortunately one of most dangerous times to be on the road. Drunk driving is extremely common this time of year and fatalities related to alcohol-impaired driving has risen since 2005.
Rape and sexual assault
I purposely left this kind of crime as a last one, because it is the most dangerous and disgusting one and unfortunately during the holidays its frequency increases dramatically. This is most likely due to the hot weather, lighter dressing, parties and alcohol consumption that takes place during this time of year. Girls and women have to be aware of this and always consider when wearing provocative skirts, swimsuits, shirts, etc. In addition, women who engage in heavy drinking have a greater risk of becoming a victim of rape or sexual assault. When alcohol or drugs are involved, people’s judgment becomes impaired and they may find themselves in more dangerous situations than when they are sober. Please, be very careful who you are spending time with and if you find something strange or unpleasant try to escape as soon as possible.