Many of us are busily making lists of things we’ve got to remember to do this holiday season.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has done the same thing in the excellent article it’s just posted.  It’s titled “The FTC’s Gift to You: A Dozen Dynamic Holiday Shopping Tips” (www.ftc.gov; December 7) and it gives the gift of very useful information — some of which can and should be used year round.

The FTC’s “gift” for consumers is a list of 12 very practical tips so that we don’t lose or compromise our budgets or personal and financial information this holiday season.  Their list anticipates how busy everyone might be and that we might be somewhat more careless with our personal information and the care we normally use.

The tips include:

  • A caution to be very wary about downloads of apps that are supposedly free and are geared specifically to the holidays.  The downloads could be loaded with viruses.
  • A reminder to check out charities that don’t or won’t furnish information about how the funds will be used and how much goes for overhead expenses.
  • A reminder that there are times when being stingy is a good thing.  The “stingy” reminder is so helpful that I’m including it verbatim (it’s tip #11 on the list):

“Be stingy when it comes to sharing your personal information.  Don’t give out your credit card or other financial information for a chance at the newest tech toy, free gift card, seasonal job or holiday vacation rental.”

Give yourself the gift of being well-informed — read the FTC article, follow their tips and have an even better holiday season.