11/28/12 With the holiday season upon us, shopping is a priority for many Americans. While shopping may seem like a simple, safe transaction, there are still many safety tips to keep in mind.


“The Internet has created a great atmosphere for increased business activity in Indiana and the country as a whole. Unfortunately it can also lead to increased criminal activity and other malicious acts that we want people to know how to avoid,” said IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott.


Online shopping, though easy, can be very risky. Following simple steps can help prevent identity theft and financial tragedies.


The Indiana Department of Homeland Security encourages Hoosiers to shop smart and safe this holiday season.


Holiday email safety:

  • Email advertisements and spam traffic may increase during the holiday season. If the subject of the email from a known or unknown sender seems suspicious, delete the email without opening.
  • Never open email attachments or follow embedded links from senders you don’t know.
  • Never convey personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, etc. in emails.

Online Shopping Safety:

  • Keep all virus protection and security software updated.
  • Make sure your Internet connection is always secure.
  • Use complex passwords to safeguard personal information like credit card numbers and billing addresses.
  • Avoid visiting unknown web pages; malicious software could be downloaded. Stick to shopping only well-known reputable sites.

Safe Online Purchasing:

  • If available, consider using your bank’s virtual credit card service.
  • Make sure you print or save an electronic copy of every transaction receipt in case there is confusion later about payment.
  • If making purchases on a smart phone, make sure you have updated security software before purchasing.