How to Keep Your Personal Information Safe While Shopping Online

The popularity of online shopping has exploded in recent years, as it offers a convenient and easy way to find what you’re looking for without having to leave the comfort of your home. However, with this increased convenience also comes an increase in the risk of personal information being stolen or compromised.

According to a report from Javelin Strategy & Research, there were 16.7 million victims of identity theft in the United States in 2017, and this number is only expected to grow in the years to come. With so much at stake, it’s important to take steps to protect your personal information when shopping online.

Here are some tips on how to keep your personal information safe while shopping online:

  1. Use a secure browser– When shopping online, be sure to use a secure browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Doing online transactions in an unsecured browser leaves your personal information vulnerable to hackers. You can tell if a website is secure if the URL starts with “https” rather than just “http.”
  2. Create strong passwords– When creating passwords for online accounts, be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to guess. Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your name.
  3. Don’t save passwords in your browser– It can be tempting to save passwords in your web browser for convenience, but this is not a secure practice. If a hacker gains access to your computer, they will also have access to any saved passwords. Instead, use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to store your passwords in a secure location.
  4. Keep your software up to date– Outdated software can provide an opportunity for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to your personal information. Be sure to keep all of your software, including your web browser and operating system, up to date with the latest security patches.
  5. Use two-factor authentication– When available, be sure to enable two-factor authentication for additional security. This adds an extra layer of protection by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password when logging into an account.
  6. Watch for phishing scams– Hackers will often try to trick you into revealing your personal information by sending fraudulent emails or online messages that appear to be from a legitimate source. Be on the lookout for red flags such as misspellings, poor grammar, and unexpected requests for personal information. If something looks suspicious, don’t click any links or open any attachments.
  7. Check website security– When entering personal information on a website, be sure to check for the security padlock icon in your browser’s address bar. This indicates that the site is using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to protect your information. You can also look for the “https” prefix in the URL, which stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.”
  8. Shop from reputable online stores– When possible, stick to shopping from online stores that you know and trust. When in doubt, do some research on a store before making a purchase to make sure that they are legitimate.
  9. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is– Be wary of online deals that seem too good to be true. If an offer seems too good to be true, it’s likely that a scammer is trying to take advantage of you. When in doubt, do some research on the deal before you click any links or enter any personal information.
  10. Report any suspicious activity or fraudulent transactions– If you suspect that your personal information has been stolen or compromised, report it to the proper authorities right away. You should also contact your financial institution if you see any suspicious activity on your credit or debit card statements.

By following these tips, you can help protect your personal information and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. You can also learn more about online security by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s website at

Do you have any online shopping safety tips that you would add to this list? Share them in the comments below!


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