Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Is your online shopping secure? Protect yourself with these 8 tips


The popularity of online shopping continues to grow thanks to abundant choices and convenience. Yet this convenience comes at the expense of consumer security. Fraud, scams, and identity theft are on the rise. Follow these simple steps to protect yourself and avoid the legal processes and hassles that could arise in the event you are the target of fraud.

Create unique usernames and passwords

Online shoppers should create unique usernames and passwords for each online account. If it sounds daunting to remember multiple usernames and passwords, try a password manager. A password manager will generate and store your unique passwords, all in one place. You will have to remember only one username and password to access your password manager account.

Never give out your social security number

This one is easy. If you are asked to provide your social security number, you should shop somewhere else. Online retailors never need your social security number. Ever.

Be wary of promotional emails

Scammers are good at what they do, and they know where you shop. If you receive an email from a retail store, even if it is one that you shop at, think before you click. Some cybercriminals send emails that trick consumers into thinking it is coming from a reputable store. If a shopper clicks through the fraudulent email, they will be directed to a fake, replicated website. Once there, scammers can access your personal information and steal your identity.

Only shop at reputable online sites and watch out for deals

When shopping online, you should look at the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). A secure website should always begin with “https” not “http” and should have a lock icon.

Websites that begin with “https” are encrypted and secured, which allows you to enter your personal information without fear of being hacked. However, just because the website begins with “https” and has a lock icon does not automatically mean it is safe. Cybercriminals know to incorporate these into fake websites. Watch for misspellings and wrong domain names. You should always be on the lookout for deals that seem too good to be true. They probably are.

Don’t use free wi-fi in public places when shopping online

It is easy for hackers to access personal devices, and steal personal information when you use free wi-fi in public places while shopping online. Typically, when using free wi-fi, consumer data is not encrypted. This leaves you vulnerable to attack.

If you must shop online using free wi-fi, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts data and acts as a protective channel so your data will not be visible as it passes through a network.

Update software to protect against cybercriminals

It is easy to ignore software update notices that pop up on mobile devices, computers, laptops, and tablets. Though it may take a few minutes to complete, it can save hours and headaches.

If you skip the updates, devices may have compromised security and privacy settings which hackers can easily exploit. Software updates protect you from viruses and malware (short for malicious software) that scammers can use to infect your computer. Once infected, cybercriminals can control your computer and gain access to your personal data. Updating software will help keep scammers out.

Keep personal information personal

Keeping your information private will help prevent identity theft. Your personal information is the gateway into financial information, including credit cards and bank accounts. Think before you post. Even if you are providing personal information to a group of trusted friends and family, the information is not safe. Scammers can find it.

Deleting personal data does not mean it is gone forever. Cybercriminals can gain access to data even in deleted files. If you post and then delete personal information, the post does not disappear. It will remain for years, or possibly forever, online.

Check your credit card account statements

At a minimum, you should carefully review your credit card statements monthly. Doing so will help spot fraudulent or unfamiliar charges and unauthorized cash advances. If you notice anything suspicious, you should immediately call your credit card company. If fraudulent charges are found, you are a victim of identity theft. You should change your passwords, monitor your credit card statements carefully, and check your online shopping accounts for fraud.


Understanding your legal rights is the first step in protecting yourself online. If you are a victim of a cybercrime, you are not alone and you are not without help. Contact an attorney immediately.

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