Published on December 20, 2016

Tips for Safe Holiday Online Shopping

The holiday online shopping season is a prime time for cyber criminals and identity thieves to trick shoppers into giving up financial, identity or password information.

The Internal Revenue Service and its partners urge you to follow a few safe practices that will increase your security online and help protect you from identity theft.

Here are a few basic steps to make your shopping season safer:

  1. Look for the “s” in “https”. The “s” in the opening URL stands for security. The “https” means the site uses secured, encrypted technology.
  2. Don’t use a public Wi-Fi to shop online.  Do not make online purchases or financial transactions while connected to a public Wi-Fi.
  3. Avoid phishing emails.  Beware of emails asking you to update your accounts, for example from your credit card company, bank, tax software provider or internet provider.
  4. Skip online employment offers. Along with retail “special” offers in your inbox, the holiday season also brings special, unsolicited job offers – promising “mystery shopping” jobs or work-from- home employment for extra cash.
  5. Shop with reputable online retailers. If a retailer is unknown to you, check them out a bit before providing any information.
  6. Review financial statements frequently. Keep a close eye on your credit card and/or bank statements.