Holiday safety tips

Halifax Regional Police are sharing crime prevention tips that can help citizens fill their holidays with safety and joy.

Online shopping

  • Shop from your personal device at home on a trusted network.
  • Consider using different user ID and passwords for different accounts an updating your passwords frequently.
  • Verify safe network connections and make sure you are on a secure website. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar and check for the valid certificate by clicking on the padlock icon.
  • Unlike secure order forms on a websites, email and text messages are not private, so, never send confidential personal or financial information by email or text.
  • Be cautious, if an online deal looks too good to be true then it probably is.
  • Watch out for email scams. Be wary of clicking on links in an email message, even if the deal seems great.
  • After making purchases it can be helpful to keep the receipt, confirmation number and postal tracking numbers in a safe accessible place.
  • If you are at an online store that you are unfamiliar with, read and understand the online shop’s policies. It’s always a good idea to check a site’s reviews before making a purchase.

In-store shopping

  • Lock your vehicle and park in well-lit and busy areas if they are available.
  • Would be thieves will look for shoppers storing valuables in their vehicles. If you’re going to drop off your purchases and return to the stores, lock your packages in the trunk and move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot.
  • Thieves sometimes watch shoppers exiting a store. Shop strategically; wait until the end of your shopping trip to make expensive purchases or make a special trip to take expensive items home and then return to continue shopping.
  • Protect your PIN when using bank and debit machines. Cover the keypad to prevent someone from observing your key strokes or from recording your PIN. It’s a good idea to change your PIN frequently.
  • After a day of shopping, don’t leave parcels or valuables in your vehicle upon returning home. Police recommend removing all valuables to keep your vehicle free from clutter; even an empty shopping bag can create the appearance that there’s something in your car worth stealing. Remember to always lock your vehicle, even in your own driveway.

No matter whether your shop in-person or online, it is especially important to monitor your bank and credit card statements closely. Immediately report any discrepancies to your bank or to the company that issued the credit card.

Home and personal safety

  • Be mindful of your home. Consider putting lights on timers when you’re out. Lock all doors and windows in your residence.
  • Always lock your vehicle, even when it’s parked in your own driveway.
  • Make sure your garage is safe. Never leave your garage control openly displayed in your vehicle. If your garage is connected to your home, keep the door leading from your garage to the house locked.
  • Be a good host. During parties, have non-alcoholic beverages on-hand. Chat with your guests to make sure they have planned ahead to get home safely.   Set-up some spaces for guests to stay the night. If you suspect a guest is impaired, take their keys.
  • Be a thoughtful guest. When attending a party, plan ahead for a ride home if you are going to consume alcohol or cannabis.
  • Think before you post on social media. Consider saving your vacation or outing posts to go live only upon your return home. An unoccupied residence is much more vulnerable to break-ins.

Mailing and donations

  • Mail gifts with security in-mind. Never send cash or gift cards through the mail. Contact your package recipient so they can ensure someone is there to accept the parcel.
  • Donate carefully. Make sure you only donate to registered charities. Canada Revenue Agency has a searchable section on their website to find registered charities, visit to access it.

Remember that we’re only a call away. If you are in an emergency call 911. Call 902.490.5020 for non-emergency situations that require a police officer or for non-emergency reporting call 902.490.5016.

Have a safe and festive holiday season!