It’s important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online.
Being a safe and secure shopper starts with STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Online Shopping Tips
- Research: When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, posts and texts are often how cybercriminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.
- Personal information is like money: value it and protect it: When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
- Use safe payment options: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered.
- Don’t be disappointed: Read return policies and other website information so you know what to expect if the purchase doesn’t go as planned.
- Protect your ££: When shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with https:// indicating extra measures to help secure your information.
Shopping on the Go
- Now you see me, now you don’t: Turn off WiFi and bluetooth when not in use.
- Get savvy about WiFi hotspots: Don’t shop online when you are connected to a hotspot..
Basic Safety and Security Tips
- Keep a clean machine: Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, smartphones and tablets – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.
- Lock down your login: Your usernames and passphrases are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media, set up 2 step verification.
- Make your password a sentence: A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
- Unique account, unique password: Having separate password for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.