University of Wisconsin–Madison
Holiday Online Shopping

7 ways to make your holiday shopping more secure

Shopping trends for 2017 tell us…

  • 52% of smartphone owners use online banking (or e-banking), suggesting a continued trend towards mobile shopping.
  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online
  • 96% of Americans have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone
  • Ecommerce is growing 23% year-over-year


Clearly, we are all shopping online more each passing year. And sadly, scammers will follow us to where we spend our money, hoping to take advantage of our habits. Don’t get scammed! Follow these 7 tips to help protect yourself online.

Here’s a list of tips to help you stay safe online:

  1. Beware of frauds and scams. Follow the bulletins on the Federal Trade Commission’s “Scam Alerts” website to stay current on the threats to your online safety and pocket book
  2. Use a safe form of payment. Usually, this means a credit card because of the consumer protections most card issuers offer. Avoid wire transfers, and never send cash by mail. Consider using a “virtual credit card number” if your bank offers them.
  3. Keep a record of your purchases, and check your credit card statement against it. Investigate, and if necessary, promptly challenge any apparently fraudulent claims.
  4. Protect your privacy online. Provide only the information necessary to complete the transaction and arrange for delivery. Read the vendor’s privacy policy to see how your data will be stored and used.
  5. Make sure the site is secure.
  6. Secure your home Wi-Fi access point, and never shop over an unsecured, public access point.
  7. Keep your device’s OS patched and up to date. Also use anti-virus and malware protection, and keep it updated too.

Enjoy the convenience of online shopping, but also remember to be safe!