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Securing the season: tips for smart holiday shopping

Shoppers are planning to be more budget-conscious and security-minded for the 2023 holiday shopping season, according to a new survey.

As the snowflakes start to fall and the scent of holiday treats fills the air, Canadians are gearing up for the festive season.

However, with Canadians facing financial pressures, shoppers are planning to be more budget-conscious and security-minded for the 2023 holiday shopping season, according to a new survey from Equifax Canada.

Budgeting on the Rise:

The survey reveals a significant shift in mindset, with 68% of respondents indicating their intention to budget for holiday shopping—a notable increase from the 57% reported in 2022. This shift reflects a growing awareness of financial pressures and a desire to exercise prudence during the holiday splurge.

Payment Preferences:

Despite the array of payment options available, credit cards remain the go-to choice for most holiday purchases, with 67% of respondents favouring this method. Among the younger demographic (18-34), this figure rises to an even more substantial 72%.

Guarding Against Fraud:

The festive season brings not only joy but also concerns about vulnerability to fraudsters and identity thieves. A considerable 44% of respondents express feeling more at risk during the holidays. In response, 70% acknowledge the need to fortify their defenses—an uptick from the 60% recorded in 2022.

Julie Kuzmic, Senior Compliance Officer, Consumer Advocacy at Equifax Canada, emphasizes the importance of proactive measures: "The findings from this survey suggest people are taking steps to be more mindful of their spending and their personal information during the holidays."


Holiday Spending and Debt:

Business owners echo a sense of caution, with 37% expressing less confidence in the 2023 holiday season compared to the previous year.

Younger individuals (18-34) are more prone to carrying over holiday debt, with 46%, and regretting purchases, at 38%, compared to their older counterparts.

On a positive note, supporting local businesses is gaining momentum, with 61% of shoppers planning to shop locally—an encouraging 10% increase from 2022.

Guarding Personal Data:

Amid concerns about identity theft, the survey unveils a proactive response from respondents. A whopping 84% check their credit card bills for suspicious activity, 72% utilize up-to-date antivirus software, and 87% limit the information shared on social media. Nevertheless, 70% acknowledge the need to heighten their protective measures.

Kuzmic advises, "Fraudsters and identity thieves don't take time off for the holidays, so it is essential to remain vigilant and to take steps to protect yourself."


Top Tips for a Safe Holiday Shopping Experience:

  1. Shop with trusted retailers and exercise caution at checkout.
  2. Regularly monitor credit reports and bank statements for unusual activity.
  3. Be mindful of information shared on social media and avoid clicking on unfamiliar links.
  4. Use strong, regularly changed passwords and enable two-factor authentication.
  5. Exercise caution when using public Wi-Fi for online shopping.

This holiday season, Canadians are not just unwrapping gifts but also unwrapping a newfound commitment to fiscal responsibility and personal security. As the snow blankets the streets, let's ensure that our holiday cheer is accompanied by financial savvy and a vigilant eye against potential threats.