Beware of Grinches: Online Shopping Security

3 Quick Tips to Stay Safe While Online Shopping

Holiday Season is almost upon us. I can already hear the screeching of people fighting for the “hot” toy this year and watching the thousand of shoppers searching for a parking spot at the Franklin Park Mall with a combination of coffee and cookies running through their veins.

But why risk the headache to go out, when you can sit in your comfortable Lay-Z-Boy and shop online. Although shopping online is convenient, it also presents some risk as well.

The news has been filled with stories of security breaches and credit cards information being stolen, so how do you know shopping online is safe?

Check out these very easy to follow tips on how to stay secure online this holiday season.

Tip 1: Use a Familiar Site

Start with a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. For example, go to and search "blender", instead of going to Google and searching "blender". This avoids the potential to land on a site that is not safe to shop online.

Tip 2: Look for the Security Lock

Never buy anything from a website that doesn’t have a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). If you look in your browser you will notice a little lock next to the URL. That lock should be locked.

Tip 3: Online Retailers Do Not need All Your Information

Do not give your Social Security Number to a website if you are shopping for goods. You do not need to give them your birthday, favorite color, race, etc.. It is normal for them to ask for your name, billing address, email, credit card name, number, and security code.

Although following these 3 steps will never guarantee your information is completely safe, it is less likely to be compromised. For more information about online shopping security visit one of our local retail stores and ask a Brainiac. You can also sign up for one of our Free Brainiacs Workshops being held all month of November and December.

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