Privacy, Security

Do you have a plan for safe online shopping this holiday season?

Nov. 21, 2022 (updated Nov. 20, 2023) / My Data Removal Staff

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and if you’re like most shoppers, you probably plan to shop online for a lot of your gifts. We wanted to let you know about some online shopping trends we've noticed and give a few tips about how to stay safe online while buying gifts for everyone on your list. We want to help you protect your hard-earned cash from scammers and hackers that take advantage of this shopping season!

Keeping an eye on your bank statements

Your first line of defense against identity theft and fraud is to pay close attention to your financial records, like bank statements and credit card transactions. You can usually follow this data up-to-the-minute online. Flag any suspicious activity (like being charged for a purchase you didn't make) and contact the institution immediately.

Sharing more than you feel comfortable with

While you need to share data to make a purchase online, you should be wary of any retailer that is requesting more information than you feel comfortable sharing. Oftentimes, you don't need to fill out every field, and you shouldn't if you don't want to. If an online store requires you to share more information than you want, find another retailer on the internet – or in real life!

In addition, follow these steps to minimize how much real information you give away to retailers:

Use alias information

Many retailers don’t need your real information in order to sell you their product. Consider where you can use an alias in your upcoming shopping. To learn more, read our alias strategy article that goes over when to consider using an alias and how to do it.

Use virtual credit cards

There are companies that will provide you a virtual credit card. This allows you to make purchases online without linking it to your personal information, while also protecting you in the event your card is compromised. Learn more about virtual credit cards, including how and when to use them.

Used masked email addresses

It is possible to use a different email address that forwards to your primary inbox. You sign up for a masked email service, and they act as an intermediary, so that your real email address is not given out to retailers. Learn more about email masking here and when it makes sense to use this service.

Making a cybersecurity list, check it twice

This year, give yourself the gift of peace of mind by following these core cybersecurity behaviors:

Shopping on public Wi-Fi

Grinch Bots

Knowing how much items should cost

Credit to For more information from the Cybersecurity Alliance, click the infographic below or follow the link here: National Cybersecurity Alliance Infographic

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