Woman online shopping at home holding credit card

Woman online shopping at home holding credit card

Safety When Online Shopping: Top 6 Tips For Employees

Chances are that your business is doing more online shopping today than ever before. As COVID-19 dust settles, many companies have moved to a hybrid work model and have employees making personal and business purchases weekly from home as well as the office.

Online shopping safety should be a top priority when you have a remote workforce.

According to a survey by Gallup in February of 2022, 42% had a hybrid schedule, and 39% worked entirely from home.

With hacker attacks at an all-time high and your business consistently making online purchases, you might be wondering how safe online shopping really is.

One thing is clear: you and your employees must know what precautions to take to keep your business safer (notice we didn’t say safe) from fraud, identity theft, or devastating data breaches that could potentially force you to shut your doors for good.

With the holiday season upon us, we put together a list of six online shopping safety tips for you and your employees to reduce the risks of shopping online. But first, what is online shopping safety anyway?

What Is Online Shopping Safety?

Cybercriminals are doing their best to capitalize on your employees shopping online to steal logins and passwords, credit card numbers, and even you and your customer’s banking information.

Online shopping safety means being vigilant and aware of the possible risks you can face when shopping online that could jeopardize personal and financial information.

If your employees don’t follow these six practices when online shopping and other activities through the internet, they could be leaving themselves and your business exposed to identity theft, fraud, and more.

1. Don’t reuse passwords from site to site.

Use a unique password for every site to drastically reduce the chances of a hacker gaining access across multiple sites to steal your information. Use a strong password to keep cyberthieves out. To make it easier, get a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords so you don’t have to.

2. Check the URL in the address bar.

Look to see if the site you’re shopping on is secure by checking that the URL has a small lock icon to the left of the URL or “https” at the beginning of the URL. Secure websites will protect the data you share, including payment info and passwords.

3. Don’t use a debit card to pay – only use a credit card.

By far, credit cards are the safest form of payment to use online. If you use a credit card and someone gains access to your account, they won’t be able to steal what’s currently in your bank account. You’ll be able to dispute any unauthorized charges and take advantage of fraud monitoring to keep your accounts safe.

4. Beware of any text messages or e-mails about package deliveries.

Don’t fall for email scams. Even if you did make a purchase from a site, be weary of texts and e-mails about deliveries with links that could cause harm and expose your device or network to malicious software. To be safe, always go back to the original site you made your purchase from to check order status and tracking information. Get Email Filtering Services to drastically reduce the amount of spam that reaches you in the first place.

5. Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi when you’re working remotely at your favorite coffee shop, or while waiting for your next flight. The guy sitting next to you staring at his phone could be intercepting all of your online activity and information you share over unencrypted public Wi-Fi. Keep in mind that public Wi-Fi networks can also be easily faked so it is best to simply turn on your personal hotspot.

6. Use a secure VPN.

If you are going to use public Wi-Fi, protect yourself with a SASE-enabled VPN (virtual private network). A VPN creates a secure tunnel and encrypts your information traveling from your computer to your network. Cyber crooks lurking nearby won’t be able to see your activity or intercept any sensitive information. The only way to use Wi-Fi in public spaces safely is by using a secure VPN.

Related: Top 5 Essential Cybersecurity Awareness Tips For Employees To Protect Your Network From Disaster


Cybersecurity Assessment From Juern Technology

While there are countless cybercriminals out there happy to scam consumers, they would rather go after businesses with much deeper pockets and multiple individuals they can target to cause havoc. Teaching employees about online shopping safety can save your business.

At Juern Technology, we work with local businesses to provide cybersecurity services and increase their cyber hygiene. Ready to learn how you can better protect your business? Book a free 15-minute Discovery Call to discuss your unique situation, needs and concerns. Or give us a call at (210) 245-6900 to get a simple security assessment and learn how we can help you protect your critical information from shady cybercriminals.