Stay safe online this holiday shopping season

Online shopping is convenient, both for you and for cyber attackers. Heavy use periods like the holiday shopping season are open season for online attackers. Even well-known sites may lack proper encryption, allowing your personal information to be intercepted during transaction. Before you begin your shopping this year, take a few steps to protect yourself.

  • Reviews: Before buying from a site, look online for customer reviews. What do other people have to say about it? Have their experiences been good ones?
  • Ads: Only give your business to online stores that you know and trust. Avoid making purchases through unknown sites that you see advertised on social media and in spam emails.
  • Security: Before purchasing, check your browsers address bar for HTTPS and the padlock icon to verify a site is secure. Check the security, privacy or FAQ sections of every site to familiarize yourself with the methods used to protect your information.
  • Apps: If you use apps for sites like Etsy, eBay or Amazon for online shopping, make sure you are fully aware of their privacy policies and any settings that allow them to share your information. If you make purchases on your phone or other Wi-Fi enabled devices, connect to a secure network before sharing billing or address information.
  • Phishing: Phishing messages are phony emails that ask for immediate action from you, typically requiring personal information like login credentials. Fake shipping notifications are a popular type of phishing email message this time of year. Never share your personal information via email and always delete an email if you are unsure about it. Learn more about phishing at

Learn more about computer security at Contact the C&IT Help Desk at 313-577-5347 or for questions or assistance.

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