Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau of­fers hol­i­day shop­ping tips

The Avenue News - - POLICE -

Whether you’re go­ing to be shop­ping in-store or on­line this hol­i­day sea­son, the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau (BBB) has some tips to help keep your sea­son merry and bright. Gift Re­ceipts: Al­ways ask for a gift re­ceipt. This way the re­cip­i­ent can re­turn or ex­change a gift if it’s not just right. War­ranty In­for­ma­tion: In­quire about the store’s re­turn pol­icy be­fore pur­chas­ing. Also, be sure to

pass along any in­for­ma­tion about returns, ex­changes, re­pairs, and war­ranties to the per­son who will use the item.

Re­search: Read prod­uct reviews, check BBB.org for Busi­ness Pro­files, look at the sales fly­ers and ads, com­pare prices, look for early pro­mo­tions and “flash sales.” For tips on search­ing on­line, check out BBB Dig­i­tal IQ.

Mo­bile Se­cu­rity: With so many shop­pers us­ing their mo­bile de- vices to re­search and make pur­chases, it’s im­por­tant to have a se­cure de­vice. Be sure you’re us­ing the re­cently up­dated ver­sion of apps and op­er­at­ing sys­tem on the phone. Also, ac­tively man­age your lo­ca­tion ser­vices, Blue­tooth, mi­cro­phone and cam­era – make sure apps use them ap­pro­pri­ately.

Pub­lic Wi-Fi: Pub­lic Wi-Fi is vul­ner­a­ble to thieves and fraud­sters look­ing to steal your info. When in stores or restau­rants,

avoid us­ing bank­ing or other apps that ac­cess sen­si­tive per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

Email Phish­ing: With all the pro­mo­tional emails re­ceived dur­ing the hol­i­days, scam­mers will be out in full force. It’s best not to click on links from senders you don’t rec­og­nize. You can also hover your mouse over links with­out click­ing to see if the ad­dress is re­ally tak­ing you to where it says it is. Also, check the re­ply email

ad­dress. The ad­dress should be on a com­pany do­main. Watch for look-alike do­mains. In­ter­est-Based Ad­ver­tis

ing: As you browse the web or use your fa­vorite store’s app, you might no­tice ads per­son­al­ized to you, some­times based on your pre­vi­ous web searches. This is called In­ter­est-Based Advertising, which

is of­ten sig­naled by Ad Choices in the cor­ners of ads. If you want to opt out of re­ceiv­ing this type of advertising, down­load the Ap­pChoices app or visit yourad­choices.com/. Back up Your Data: Have an on­line backup op­tion in case your de­vice is at­tacked by hack­ers. You do not want to lose all your fam­ily’s in­for­ma­tion and mem­o­ries.

Look Out for Scams: If you sus­pect a scam, check out BBB Scam Tips to learn more (bbb.org/scamtips) or re­port scams to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scam­tracker).

Char­ity Dis­clo­sure: Check out give. org to find BBB Ac­cred­ited Char­i­ties that have fully dis­closed in­for­ma­tion to BBB Wise Giv­ing Al­liance. Although par­tic­i­pa­tion is vol­un­tary, you may want to be cau­tious of char­i­ties that don’t dis­close re­quested in­for­ma­tion to BBB.

What’s In a Name: Be on the look­out for name sim­i­lar­i­ties. Du­bi­ous char­i­ties of­ten pick a name that sounds like a more fa­mous char­ity. Be­fore you give, be sure you have the ex­act name of the char­ity you want to sup­port. Learn more about char­i­ta­ble giv­ing at give.org.

Give a Guide: Re­quest a free Hol­i­day is­sue of the BBB Wise Giv­ing Guide to be sent to a friend or fam­ily mem­ber this giv­ing sea­son! The guide features eval­u­a­tion re­sults for thou­sands of char­i­ties. Sim­ply email Guide@give.org with “Free Guide” in the sub­ject line, and a name and ad­dress of where you’d like the guide to be sent.

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