How to shop online safely


(NC) Online shopping is a fun, convenient way to purchase items for yourself, and even gifts for others, right from the comfort of your home. Many brick-and-mortar stores have adapted to this way of shopping, and a growing number of businesses are online only.

But with so many options to choose from, sometimes making a purchase online can be overwhelming, and it can be confusing trying to find a reputable seller to buy from.

Unfortunately, like most things on the internet, online shopping can pose a lot of cybersecurity risks. Here are a few clues that a shopping site may not be trustworthy:

  • The site looks poorly designed, unprofessional and contains broken links – those that are clickable but take you to a blank page rather than a fully functional website.
  • You can't find an address or phone number for the business.
  • Sales, return and privacy policies are hard to find or unclear.
  • The back button is disabled. In other words, you get stuck on a page and can't go back.
  • You're asked for credit card information anytime other than when you are making a purchase.

It might not always be clear when an online store is legitimate or not, but there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re making purchases safely.

  • Shop only on secure Wi-Fi networks, not public internet. Unsecured Wi-Fi can allow hackers to compromise your device and payment information.
  • Don’t allow sites to store your information. Leaving your personal details, passwords and payment information on a website can make it easier for cybercriminals to access it.
  • Review your credit card statements regularly for any unauthorized or suspicious purchases.
  • Only use secure websites, like websites whose URL begins with “https://”.
  • Only buy from websites that you trust.

Find more information and resources to help you protect against cyber threats at getcybersafe.ca.


Media Attachments Related Posts Terms of Use

All News Canada content is provided free of charge. Any source/sponsor of the information must also be identified as presented. For articles, credit of usage must be attributed to News Canada with "(NC)" at the beginning of an article or "www.newscanada.com" or "– News Canada" at the end. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada content constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.

Disclaimer: Comments and opinions in News Canada content are those of their respective contributors only. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of News Canada Inc., its management or employees. News Canada Inc. is not responsible, and disclaims any and all liability, for the content of comments provided by contributors.