While Black Friday is the perfect time to score great holiday deals, it can also turn violent, as recent years have shown. It is important to keep personal safety and security in mind as you venture out on Black Friday.

Plan ahead to ensure a safe and peaceful experience.

1.Stay on High Alert

Crowd mentality can pose great risk to your personal safety. A lot of people in a small area can incite crime and unruly behavior of masses. Avoid distractions, such as walking while using your phone, and have a heightened level of awareness of who is around you at all times.

2. Avoid Confrontations

Black Friday seems to bring out the worst in people—and there is no telling what someone’s capabilities are. Avoid confrontations, and focus on purchasing your items quickly and efficiently. The less time you spend in a particular store, the less of a chance there is for an unwanted situation to arise.

3. Keep Belongings Close to Your Person

Black Friday is open season for criminals looking to reach into your wallet. Tight crowds provide a great opportunity for pickpocketing and can allow thieves to get away before you realize items are missing.

Keep your wallet, keys and phone in a front pocket or in a purse held close to you. Furthermore, limit the financial items you carry with you this day. Have only a small amount of cash and one credit card in your possession. This way, if you fall victim to pickpocketing, the thief will not get away with much.

4. Maintain Parking Lot Safety

There is a great window of opportunity for crime during the time between purchasing your items and entering your car. As you walk out of the store, have your car keys already in hand and be alert to see if anyone is following you.

If you plan to continue shopping after placing your purchases in the car, make sure items are out of plain sight. Place them in the trunk, or cover them with a blanket or tarp to conceal.

5. Shop Online

Do as much of your shopping online, during Cyber Monday, as possible to avoid the chaos and dangers of Black Friday. As your orders are delivered, take them inside immediately, and fold boxes so that company and product names are not exposed when taken out with the trash.

How do you plan to stay safe during the holiday shopping season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Source: Wang Shein via Flickr