Suffolk police will be more visible this holiday season with increased patrols starting Wednesday, the department said.

The amped-up police presence through Jan. 1 is aimed at helping with crowd control and boosting security and safety at busy shopping centers.

Another focus of the patrols will be to crack down on drunken driving and the use of cellphones while driving. Several traffic checkpoints will be set up during the holiday season, police said.

To help keep holiday shoppers -- and their belongings -- safe during the season, police provided the following tips.

When shopping at stores:

Park in well-lighted areas.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash.

Avoid leaving packages in plain view in a vehicle.

When shopping online:

Make sure computers are updated with security software.

Keep information private and passwords secure.

Use only secure and familiar websites.

Securing your home:

Lock doors and windows, and secure pet doors.

Activate the security system.

Put valuables in a safe-deposit box.

Install motion-sensor lights.

Avoid posting travel plans on social media.

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