Online Shopping_ Dos and Don’ts _ Capitol Technology University

Online Shopping: Dos and Don’ts

Convenient to your door delivery, multiple product reviews at your fingertips, and the promise of grabbing that sale without having to compete in an Olympic-sport-like wrestling match for the last of this season’s hottest item? It’s no wonder more people are choosing to do their holiday shopping online.

But with large data breaches on the rise, like the recent breaches in security with Equifax and Uber, consumers have the right to be concerned about the safety of their information once it hits the internet.

So what are some steps online shoppers can take to help safeguard their data and protect against theft? We asked our Capitol cybersecurity professors for their thoughts:

Dr. William Butler, chair, DSc, cybersecurity program

* DO: Use a card that has a good dispute resolution process. American Express, from what I hear, is one of the best – if you dispute something, they’ll reverse it. Some people have a card that they use specifically for online shopping, so that if there’s a dispute on the charge, they don’t have to go through a lot of rigmarole.

* DON’T: Use websites that want to store your credit card information. If you have the option, don’t store your credit card information, unless you really like that convenience, because that’s where most of them are getting compromised during the breaches. It’s convenient to store your credit cards on the websites you use the most, but then again that’s where the compromises have happened. With sites like Uber, and others that didn’t report breeches, people’s credit card numbers are out there.

Dr. Jason Pittman, DSc, professor, cybersecurity program

* DO: shop online without fear. Retailers do their best to protect purchases and the probability of compromise is low given the amount of companies and sales during this season

* DON’T: shop online by clicking on links in emails.Browse directly to the retailers you want to visit to avoid phishing attempts. Yes, your coupon will still apply.

Professor Rick Hansen, cybersecurity program, Cyber Battle Team Coach

* DO: Always look for the picture of a lock when you’re shopping online.It signifies a secure site. If you’ve never been to the site before, click on that lock in order to find out more about the site’s security. When you go to the shopping cart, you’ll see that lock. It ensures that you’re on a site that has secure transmissions. If you’ve never been there before, or if it looks sketchy, you can click on the lock essaysonline org and find out more about the connection.

* DON’T: Click on the links if you receive an e-mail that looks legitimate but is from someone you don’t know.Most of the time you can hover over the links and see what URLs they actually go to. Say you get an e-mail that looks like it’s telling you about a special offer on Amazon. Don’t necessarily assume it’s really from Amazon – check the identity of the sender. You can do this, on many e-mail clients, with a right mouse click and see what the name is. Sometimes you’ll get sent a link that’s tagged “” but when you investigate the link, you see that it’s actually going to Bob’s Towing.

Keep these Do’s and Don’ts in mind for a safe, secure, online shopping experience this holiday season.