Online shopping is fast and easy, but it's still "buyer beware." Providing your information online can be as safe as providing it to a store your visit in-person, as long as you follow a few simple rules:
- Make sure your computer's security software is up-to-date
- Shop well-known brands or sites with which you are familiar
- Make sure the site uses a secure check-out – look for https in the url
- Purchase using your credit card
- If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably is a scam
- Understand how the site will use your data and the choices that are available to you regarding its use
Check out these links for additional tips on making online shopping safe:
- Consumer tips for safe shopping online (Yahoo)
- You Are Here (FTC)
- How to shop online more safely (Microsoft)
- Safeshopping.org (American Bar Association)
- Help protect your privacy in online communities (Microsoft)
- How to limit your personal data in online directories (Microsoft)
- Privacy Consumer Toolbox (Better Business Bureau)
How to read a privacy statement
- What information does the company collect about me?
- Is the information necessary for the online activity I am engaging in?
- How does the site collect information about me?
- How does the site use personal information once it is collected?
- Do I have a choice about the way information about me is used or shared? How can I make that choice?
- Is there a place where I can ask questions about privacy and the use of my information?
Helpful Privacy & Security Sites
OnGuard Online (U.S. Federal Government Coalition) Consumer Information (Federal Trade Commission) My Secure Cyberspace (Carnegie Mellon)