Our shopping toolkit includes online shopping do’s and don’ts, ways to protect financial and banking information, and general information on how to navigate shopping on-line.

Crime prevention starts by being vigilant and knowing how to protect yourself and your family.

There are several steps that consumers can take to protect themselves when shopping online:

  1. Reputable Retailers: Purchase goods only from reputable retailers and be wary of third-party vendors.
  2. Reviews: Check seller reviews and verify there is a working phone number and address for the seller, in case you have questions about the legitimacy of a product.
  3. Research: Read product reviews on websites and research companies you aren’t familiar with.
  4. Caution: Don’t buy expensive items from third party websites.

Remember: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Criminals often use legit product photo on their websites, despite selling a fraudulent product, and often, you’ll pay full price for an item that is subpar and will not last long.

Do’s and Don’ts
  • Use one credit card for online purchases. Consider opening a credit card account for use only online. Keep a minimum credit line on the account to limit the amount of charges an attacker can accumulate.
  • Use good password practices. Use a different passwords for each accounts. Use the longest password or passphrase permissible by each password system. Develop mnemonics to remember complex passwords. Consider using a password manager program to keep track of your passwords.
  • Consumers need to be on the lookout for counterfeit and pirated goods. Criminals try to trick holiday shoppers into buying substandard, even hazardous, counterfeit goods. Counterfeit electronics can explode, bicycle helmets can shatter, cosmetics can harm your skin, holiday lights can catch fire. Be vigilant. Protect yourself and your family. Share this webpage.
  • Use a debit card for online purchases. Debit cards do not offer protection against identify theft. Additionally, because charges are immediately deducted from your account, an attacker who obtains your account information may empty your bank account before you even realize it.
  • Forget security basics. Keep your operating system, browser, and other software up to date. Use and maintain antivirus software and a firewall. Use caution with email attachments and untrusted links. Watch for suspicious activity on your accounts.

This and additional information can be found on the ICE web-site.