Internet Shopping: How to Protect Your Personal Information!

shopping onlineAre you worried about getting hacked while shopping online? Online shopping has become more and more popular over the years. As we all know, with online shopping comes online hacking, and nobody wants their information getting stolen. With the holidays right around the corner, you may be looking around for some last minute shopping, so here are some quick ideas to keep your personal information safe from hackers or scammers!

  • Personal information is bad.
    If a website is asking for personal information, like a social security number, it’s definitely a scam. There is no reason for a shopping site to need your social, and those that ask should be avoided at all costs. Other information that a site should never ask you for are things like: Full Name (not just first and last), phone number, or credit score. A good thing to remember is if it looks like you’re applying for a credit card, it’s probably not a site you want to be using.
  • Make sure it’s a real site!
    If a site is offering a ridiculously cheap price for a normally expensive object, it may be a scam. As I previously said, websites that ask for personal information should be avoided, especially if the website is unfamiliar to you. Places that are verified like or are safe, but is a site is relatively unknown and offering a $300 camera for $20… yeah, no. Don’t do it. It’s a trap. If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. For more information on identifying a safe website, you can check out this article.
  • Avoid the word “free”
    If a website is offering a free item, especially something like a tablet or a TV, it’s probably not safe to be on. Sites like this lure you in with the word “free” so you will sign up for their site. Giveaways or “lucky picks” are always a scam on the internet until otherwise proven. Especially if they ask for a credit/ debit card number, or other personal information. Remember: most of the time, free doesn’t mean free.
  • If possible, use PayPal.
    It is incredibly dangerous to put your actual debit card information on any site. Especially with so many websites getting hacked these days. PayPal is a great alternative to using your debit card, it is so much more secure! Signup is incredibly easy, and it’s free! Sites that do not accept PayPal and are not well- known should probably be avoided.

Not all websites are scams, but it is very easy to fall into the trap of a scammer or hacker. Scammers have gotten very good with the web, and some have built websites that look and seen very realistic. Please be careful when going onto a site that you are not familiar with, and is not very well- known. These tips will definitely help you during your holiday shopping, and make sure that your personal information stays safe and secure. Happy shopping!

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