12 Tips to Safe Shopping Online

Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

These days, online shopping isn’t a risky, crazy or scary task, but with all of the cyber criminals out and about, you might want to think twice before clicking “submit payment.”

If you are going to be shopping online, there are some things that you can do to keep yourself safe. Here are some tips:

Tips for Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

  1. Think about this; if you were a cybercriminal, how would you lure a victim? You might put an ad on social media, for instance, sharing an amazing deal. If you see a deal that looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. What if you want to look at the deal? It doesn’t hurt to look, right? Wrong. Sometimes even clicking on the ad can download a virus onto your computer.
  3. Back up your computer regularly, especially before you start shopping online.
  4. You can be protected if you use security software like firewall software, antivirus software, antispyware, and antiphishing, even if you go to a malicious site.
  5. Don’t use a debit card if you can help it. If you pay with a debit card and a scammer takes your money, you might never get it back.
  6. It’s much safer to use a credit card. If you pay with a credit card, you can dispute the charge, and the credit card company will work with you and reverse the charges.
  7. Also, if you use a credit card, contact the company to find out if they have a “one-time use number” for the card. This way, if you do make a purchase to the scammer, they can’t use that number again.
  8. If you are shopping for common, everyday items, only buy them from reputable, big-name retailers. All of the URLs should have a padlock symbol next to them, and they should say “https” not “http.”
  9. If you are buying from a merchant you are not familiar with, familiarize yourself with the site’s reputation. Do some research to find out if anyone has had issues with the site in the past.
  10. Take a look at the merchant’s privacy policy and see what the limits are.
  11. Keep in mind that a merchant doesn’t need any more information than your name/address, credit card info, and shipping info. If they ask for other information, like a birthday or Social Security number, do not give it. It is probably a scam. Do not give retailers like this any information about you.
  12. Don’t shop online when you are connected to public Wi-Fi. If you don’t have a choice, you can use a VPN, virtual private network, to make sure all of your information is encrypted.

Consider identity theft protection as an additional layer to protect your identity from various scams. No one is immune from fraud or all scams, but identity theft protection services are there to watch your back and assist in case something goes wrong.

Online shopping should be a very worry-free process, but there are some things you can do, as listed above, to reduce your risk of danger. By making these practices a habit, you can stay safe now and in the future.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.

Comments (25)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Always appreciate your great advice, Robert Siciliano .  I bet the cybercriminals are having a heyday right now, with all the online shopping. 

Dec 10, 2020 05:25 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Great points for shopping online at any time. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 12, 2020 06:03 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Lots of good info here. Thank you!

Dec 12, 2020 02:31 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There are deals everywhere online if you’re willing to look. Have a wonderful season into a great new year!

Dec 12, 2020 03:23 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® One of the most concise list posts I’ve seen on here in a bit. Absolutely excellent!

Dec 12, 2020 03:24 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Very Good Advice! I tried to reblog but it didnt let me!

Never Use your Debit Card is such good advice!

Thank you  I will try and reblog it again... people need to see this!!

Dec 13, 2020 12:39 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta GA 404-939-2727

Robert Siciliano        Perhaps he checked the "NO REBLOG" button because he has his own Blog?  
Suggest you call him --   Debra Leisek   very easy to talk to on phone. Hope you are doing well, your AR friend in Atlanta - Lynn

Dec 13, 2020 09:11 PM
Mark Larkin
San Diego, CA
Digital Marketing | Real Estate Technology

Excellent and very very informative. Amazing, thanks for sharing such beautiful info. 

Dec 13, 2020 09:04 AM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

Besides never use a debit card, what I didn't know about was this: " if you use a credit card, contact the company to find out if they have a “one-time use number” for the card. This way, if you do make a purchase to the scammer, they can’t use that number again."

Dec 13, 2020 10:05 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Thanks for some excellent tips for anyone purchasing on-line. Bet scammers love the holiday shopping season.


Dec 13, 2020 10:10 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Buckhead - Midtown - Westside ... Love our City - Love our Clients! - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Robert Siciliano 

Thanks for your usual great advice!

All the best, Lynn

Dec 13, 2020 09:06 PM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

These are fantastic things to watch out for and tips to do it safely!

Thanks for sharing...

Dec 14, 2020 10:29 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Robert Siciliano very good list of tips for safe shopping online.

Dec 14, 2020 10:52 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Robert Siciliano ,

Excellent tips to follow when making purchases online. Excellent suggestion not to use a debit card..that is something I've never used on an on-line purchase. A scammer loves the holiday season..its a treasure chest of opportunities for them.

Dec 14, 2020 02:26 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Fantastic cyber advice Robert! My husband was taken by a Facebook advertiser during Halloween. He ordered what he thought was a virtual visual display with sounds and ended up with 3 small plastic pumpkins that laughed (he said at him) and may have been worth a dollar each...

Dec 14, 2020 02:57 PM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Robert Siciliano Thank you for the great information.  We have been hacked in the past and it is a bearcat getting it all resolved.  Mike

Dec 17, 2020 06:52 AM
Gwen Fowler-864-638-3599 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

I just try to stay clear of any links on Facebook or instagram 

Dec 17, 2020 08:16 AM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

An excellent post for this time of year and to raise awareness. Thank you.

Dec 17, 2020 08:24 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Informative and timely. 

Dec 17, 2020 07:32 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It can be extremely easy to just use the same password for everything. I fall into that trap sometimes but you really can’t.

Dec 19, 2020 09:18 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I heard that my friend may have gotten Covid from going so shopping online is a great alternative to risking that chance. Kimo Jarrett

Dec 19, 2020 09:24 PM

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