Shaye Trenda

ITS 370

Final Project Narrative

Security Issues of Shopping Online

Have you ever hesitated to buy something online because you worry about hackers finding your credit card information? Don’t worry! If you follow these simple tips online, then you won’t have to worry about your personal information being stolen or compromised.

1.     When shopping online, don’t visit sites that you aren’t familiar with. Staying on sites you trust such as Amazon or E-bay is usually a safe bet. Look for spelling errors or URLs with .net instead of .com, or anything suspicious on the site. If you’re not sure- go with your gut and don’t give the site your credit card information!

2.     Look for the lock. When shopping on a safe and trusted website, make sure the site you’re buying from has SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. This means that at the beginning of the URL, you will see “https://” instead of “http://”. An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.

3.     Never, ever give anyone your credit card over email. Ever. Even if your grandma e-mails you can asks you for it (which I don’t know why she would), tell her it’s not safe!

4.     If a site is asking you for your SSN or your birthday, don’t give it to them! Unless they are only asking your birthday for sales promotions, then that’s cool. Always opt to give less information about yourself, if possible.

5.     Check your banking statements regularly. Don't wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don't see any fraudulent charges, even from sites like PayPal.

6.     If you do see something wrong, pick up the phone to address the matter quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems, however; after that, you might be liable for the charges anyway.

7.     This may be a no brainer, but make sure your computer has an anti-virus software installed. Hackers often attack computers that are not protected- simply because they are easy to hack! There are lots of different programs out there- search around to find the best one for you!

8.     Use strong passwords. Don’t use the same password for all your e-commerce accounts and definitely don’t make your passwords easy to guess. This is especially important during the holidays, when millions of people are shopping online for Christmas gifts.

9.     Avoid using public computers to shop online. This should be obvious- but only use your personal PC or mobile device to make purchases. Also, make sure you’re using your own Wi-Fi. Make sure to only use the Wi-Fi if you access the Web over a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

10.  Know a scam when you see one. Be very wary of e-mails offering you a free gift. There is a "coupon scam" that offers of a free product with purchase, in particular an iPad (a very coveted gadget at any holiday) or even holiday job offers. Many of these "offers" will come in via social media. Don’t trust any of these offers because they are often hackers who will take your information, and you probably won’t get that free gift.


Thanks for listening to my presentation! I hope you learned a lot and feel safer and smarter about shopping online.