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Insights: Holiday Shopping and Party Tips

Once again, it’s that time of year – a time full or activity, celebrations and online gift giving. Hilb Group (formerly New Agency Partners) is pleased to offer you the following suggestions to reduce your holiday exposures and to ensure that your holiday surprises are just the good ones!

Tips For Safe Online Shopping

With estimated online spending to reach nearly $10 billion dollars this year, it raises the question of how do you safely shop online and avoid becoming a victim of scams and malicious software? Here are some steps that can help prevent the intrusion of cyber theft on a personal level:

  • Secure your computer and mobile devices – Make sure your software is up to date and that you have anti-virus software installed.
  • Use mobile applications with caution – Choose only the most widely used and well-evaluated apps. Seemingly legitimate shopping apps could download malware onto your devices.
  • Disable Bluetooth – Shutting off Bluetooth and other near-field communication systems on your mobile devices when they are not being used limits the risk that credit-card numbers may be captured by another nearby device.
  • Know your online merchants – Limit online shopping to merchants you know and trust.
  • Look for security symbols – Make sure the Web page address begins with “https” before you click purchase. Also, a padlock or key icon in the browser’s status bar indicates the transaction will be encrypted.
  • Don’t click on pop-up advertising – When a browser window pops-up promising bargains, cash or gift cards in exchange for filling out a survey, just close it by pressing Control + F4 on Windows devices or Command + W for Macs
  • Be alert for potential charity-donating scams- Cybercriminals try to take advantage of holiday generosity and use fake requests as a way to access your information or device. Work with only those charities you know and trust.

Tips to Avoid Legal Pitfalls at Holiday Office Parties

The holiday season and office parties comingle to create a time when the combination of the often awkward gathering of coworkers plus alcohol can create a social minefield of liability exposure. Consider the following points if you decide to go forward with the customary party.

  • Consider an alcohol-free party.
  • Hold your party off-site – If a holiday party is held at a licensed restaurant for example, the restaurant would be considered the provider of alcohol and therefore would assume most, BUT not all, responsibility for cutting someone off when they have consumed too much alcohol.
  • Hold a breakfast or lunch party. Typically, daytime parties discourage heavy drinking or pre-drinking.
  • Have a back-up plan. As the host of the event, be ever vigilant in looking for signs that an employee or employees have had too much to drink. Be prepared to offer transportation to someone in need so that they will arrive home safely. If there is problem with distance, know of a nearby hotel and book 2 or 3 rooms in advance of the event.
  • Include spouses or other family members. Having immediate family on scene helps immensely in keeping everyone in check. In addition, the practice of including family dramatically diminishes incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct.

Hilb Group (formerly New Agency Partners) wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

All insurance policies are different. Be sure to review your insurance policy for specific information about coverages available to you. Nothing in this post is meant to suggest a guarantee of coverage.