Before You Shop: Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Before You Shop Before You Shop

Cybercriminals love the holidays – but not for the same reasons you do!

It's their perfect time to prey on unsuspecting shoppers, both online and at local stores and malls. Spoil their shenanigans! You already practice prevention habits when shopping locally, locking your car, carefully putting away your credit cards and cash, paying attention to those around you. Be just as vigilant when shopping online from the comfort of your own home.

  • Your personal information is valuable. When making a purchase online, be attentive to the information that is requested to complete your transaction. Provide only essential information to the vendor. Fill out only required fields at check-out.

  • Lock down your login. Before you shop online this shopping season, strengthen your online accounts. Enable the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys, or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like e-mail, banking, and social media.

  • Be savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots. If you are out and about, limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections, including logging in to key accounts, such as e-mail and banking. Adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone. If you must use open Wi-Fi connections, connect to a virtual private network (VPN) first.

  • Check the address bar. Look for the lock icon image of padlock and https:// in the URL before using your credit card online.

Don't let cybercriminals spoil your holidays. Before you shop, be sure that your information and identity are protected.

Have questions? We're here to help!

If you have questions about cybersecurity, or if you want to learn more about how to stay safe online, contact the Information Security Office (ISO) at: