Stay Safe While Shopping Online

Online shopping safetyDon’t let your guard down if you’re in a rush to finish buying presents for the holidays. Stay safe while shopping online this season by following these tips before making any purchases:

  • Look for the lock symbol—To make sure the website is secure, check the address bar for the padlock symbol. You can also look for an ‘s’ in ‘https.’ The lock and ‘s’ mean that communications between your browser and the web server are encrypted.
  • Don’t shop on public wifi—Because you’ll be entering sensitive information like your card number, do your online shopping at home on your own secure network.
  • Keep your browser updated—As we explained in our blog post on why you should update your browser, keeping your browser up-to-date makes sure it has the latest safety features.
  • Don’t save your information—Even if the company is reputable, don’t allow them to store your card information because it could be stolen if the company experiences a data breach.
  • Be skeptical of amazing deals—you’ve heard the saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If an item that’s normally hundreds or thousands of dollars is now just a fraction of the price, it could be a fake, or worse, a scam. Practice extra caution when you find a fantastic deal.
  • Check your statements closely—During and after the holiday season, pay close attention to your account statements, scanning them for any purchases you don’t recognize. You should do this year-round, but it’s especially important if you’ve been doing a lot of online shopping.

Follow these tips, and you can enjoy the convenience of doing your holiday shopping online as well as peace of mind.

Editor’s note: parts of this article were sourced from Center for Internet Security, US News and Bowling Green State University.