Online Holiday Shopping Security Checklist

Online Holiday Shopping Security Checklist

November 06, 2023

This is a favorite time of year for cybercriminals to prey on unsuspecting online shoppers. While shoppers are looking for the best gifts and deals, criminals are searching for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in devices and internet connections and attempting to extract personal and financial information through fake websites or charities. 

While the following list does not represent every possible step you can take to protect yourself this holiday season, we have attempted to capture some of the most common criminal behavior and scams to look out for:

  • Be wary of major discounts

    • If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is
    • Criminals may be hiding phishing messages inside of too-good-to-be-true emails or advertisements


  • Avoid anything suspicious

    • Not-quite-right websites
      • Peculiar advertisements or clickable links (you may end up giving away personal information or credit card details)
    • Phishing emails
      • Do not open unsolicited emails and do not click on any links attached.
    • Social media posts
      • Beware of social media posts that appear to offer special vouchers or gift cards. Some may pose as holiday promotions or contests. It may even appear that a friend shared the link. Often, these scams lead you to participate in an online survey that is actually designed to steal personal information.


  • Do your research

    • Make sure a site is secure and reputable before providing your credit card number
    • Beware of purchases or services that require you to pay with a gift card




Following these steps to the best of your ability will greatly contribute to your cyber safety this holiday season. If, you suspect that you have been the victim of a cybercriminals scheme, contact your financial institution immediately—request for your bank to notify the financial institution where the fraudulent transfer was sent. Be sure also to contact local law enforcement. Finally, change any passwords you might have revealed immediately and avoid reusing passwords from another account you created (See these password tips for assistance).