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Shop Safely Online with Cybersecurity Information

Published on: 01/26/18
3 min read

Online safety and cybersecurity are important concepts for anyone using the Internet. Securing your personal and financial information online can mean the difference between a single authorized purchase and an unexpectedly empty bank account after sensitive information is stolen. Protecting yourself, your personal information, and your financial wellbeing starts with smarter Web-browsing and an understanding of the simple steps and precautions you can take when online.

Learn more about online safety, social media best practices, and how to best protect yourself and your accounts online with our collection of resources:

Online Safety

  • How to Check if a Website Is Safe: Whether you're visiting an online store or a site for coupon codes, it's important to know whether a website is free of security threats. This CNET article outlines how people can check whether websites are safe.
  • Top Tips for Internet Safety at Work (PDF): Businesses are highly lucrative targets for cybercriminals. Middlesex Community College provides this helpful document with advice on how to stay safe while online at work.
  • What Do I Need to Know About the Internet and My Child? Children are especially vulnerable to threats that exist on the Internet. The University of Michigan offers parents advice on how to keep their kids safe in cyberspace.
  • Five Ways to Prevent a Personal Cyber-Attack: Hackers can also attack people who use video game consoles.
  • Online Safety Tips for Students: Young people need to learn how to stay safe in cyberspace. The University of Delaware gives advice for students and parents on how to protect their personal information, avoid cyberbullies, prevent computer addiction, and more.
  • Be Careful With People You Meet Online: Carnegie Mellon University explains to readers why it's necessary to be careful about sharing information online and how to look out for one's friends as well.
  • Four Steps to Staying Secure (PDF): John Brown University gives visitors an insight on how to protect themselves from online criminals. It talks about using common sense to avoid threats, using strong passwords, keeping security software up to date, and backing up data.
  • How to Avoid Phishing Scams: Phishing is a form of social engineering that tricks people into giving away sensitive information. The Anti-Phishing Working Group provides educational material here for people who want to learn about this common online security threat.
  • Internet Safety Tips: Brigham Young University Idaho has general information about Internet safety covering protection of one's privacy and personal information, password safety, Internet addiction, and more.
  • Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks: The FTC's Consumer Information division provides readers with advice on how to protect themselves while accessing the Internet via wireless devices.  If you are using a public wifi network you should never enter online banking or credit card information. Public wifi networks are one of the most common ways hackers steal personal information. VPNs are a safe, cost effective way to protect your personal information when using the internet outside of your home, office, or school. NordVPN is one of the top VPNs on the market that will protect your data in public spaces and allow you to stream movies and tv shows only offered in other countries. NordVPN discount codes allow you to save up to 75% off a 1-year plan for 6 devices.

Social Media Safety

  • Social Media, Privacy, and Security: Learn about safety issues in the world of social media by visiting the Personal Preparedness section of Indiana University's website.
  • Social Networking Sites: Social networking is an effective way to connect with people around the world, but criminals are also using it to prey on people. Get Safe Online discusses various ways in which people can reduce their risks of becoming a victim of Internet threats ranging from cyberstalking to hacking and malware.
  • Talking to Your Kids About Social Media Safety: Parents with kids who use the Internet can find useful tips from this article on the University of Texas website.
  • Social Media Safety: Furman University students and their parents can find help on this page regarding how to safely use social media.
  • Security: Social Media Safety: The Rochester Institute of Technology warns about the hazards involved with social media and how to use these sites safely.
  • Best Practices: Safe Social Networking: The University of Pittsburgh talks on this page about how to stay safe while using social media. It also talks specifically about the safe use of Facebook.
  • Social Networking Safety: For Parents (PDF): Children do not always make the best decisions when using social media. This two-page guide on the Princeton University website explains what parents and their children can do to educate themselves about how to avoid trouble on social networks.
  • Social Network Safety: Get useful tips on safe social media use in this brief article by the University of Southern California.
  • How to Stay Safe on Social Media and Online: Despite the best of intentions, using a social networking website can lead to serious trouble. Lim College explains what actions users can take to protect themselves from online threats.
  • Computing and Information Services: Social Networking Safety: Social networking is a tool people can use to socialize and make friends online, but it can also become a threat to one's privacy, employment prospects, and reputation.


  • Do Parents Invade Children's Privacy When They Post Photos Online? Parents who post pictures of their children online may be putting their children at risk for cyberbullying. NPR discusses the ethical issues concerning parents sharing information about their kids on the Internet.
  • Dealing With Cyberbullies: Cyberbullies can harass their victims from anywhere in the world without ever having to confront them face to face. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has an article on their website about how one can protect themselves or their children from cyberbullying.
  • What Kids Can Do: The Stop Bullying website is dedicated to informing people about the threat of cyberbullying and how to avoid becoming a victim. Here, readers will find useful advice on how to deter or respond to bullies.
  • What Parents Can Do About Cyberbullying: Children are especially vulnerable to cyberbullying. The National Crime Prevention Council explains to parents how they can help reduce the prevalence of this form of harassment.
  • Cyberbullying: What Should Students Do? (PDF): Click this link for a University of Portland document about what students can do to stop cyberbullying. It also talks about what forms cyberbullying can take.

Viruses and Hacking

  • How to Avoid Malware: Viruses, trojans, and other malware can be hard to get rid of once they infect a computer. Learn how to reduce the risk of malware infections by visiting Northeastern University's SecureNU website for tips on computer security and malware prevention techniques.
  • Cleaning an Infected Computer of Malware: Despite a user's best efforts, it is still possible to suffer a malware infection. Find advice on how to remove malware from Windows-based systems here.
  • What Is Computer Malware? Oregon State University provides readers with an in-depth analysis of different forms of malware on this page.
  • Safe Computing: Visit the University of Columbia website for information about viruses and spyware as well as how to protect one's computer against infection.
  • Malware Removal Guide (PDF): Tennessee State University explains how to remove viruses and other malware from a computer in this article.
  • Top Ten Security Tips: Learn computer security tactics and hacker deterrence strategies on this page by West Virginia University.
  • Protecting Your Computer From Hackers: Visit the Scripps Research Institute's website for an article about how to defend oneself from hacker attacks via strong password security techniques.
  • Avoid Ransomware Attacks: Ransomware works by encrypting a victim's files to block them from using their own data and requiring a payment for restoration of access. This article by the UCLA Information Security Office talks about how it works and how to reduce one's risk of becoming a victim.
  • Six Ways to Avoid Theft Online: Users who protect themselves from hacking and malware are more likely to deter a cyber attack before it even happens. Professor Hsinchun Chen of the University of Arizona explains ways that a person can make themselves an undesirable target for online criminals.
  • Can You Trust That App? Not all mobile applications are trustworthy. This news article on the University of California website talks about malicious software that hackers trick people into downloading in order to break into their computers.

Identity Theft

  • Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number (PDF): Visit the Social Security Administration website for a brochure about protecting one's Social Security number from identity thieves.
  • Online Safety Tips: Protecting Your Personal Information: The Internet has created a whole new world of opportunities for criminals. An article by the University of Washington teaches people how to protect their personal information from online identity thieves.
  • Preventing Identity Theft: Consumer.gov provides visitors with advice on how people can protect their personal information from identity thieves.
  • Identity Crimes: While there is no perfect way to stop identity theft, the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection offers readers an in-depth guide on how to reduce the risk. It talks about protecting one's personal information, reviewing credit reports, shredding important documents, fighting mail theft, computer security, and more.
  • What You Need to Know: Central Piedmont Community College provides visitors with an article and list of links to resources about how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. It also talks about resources that the Internal Revenue Service offers to people who have been victims of this crime.
  • Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft: Visit the news section of the Internal Revenue Service website for a guide to defenses taxpayers can use to reduce the risk of identity theft, including protecting one's personal data and using antivirus and firewall software.
  • Protect Your Identity: Criminals can use another person's identity to commit crimes, run up medical bills, and many other things that their victim can be held liable for. Click this link to go to an article on Emerson College's website that provides a guide to defending against identity theft.
  • What Is Identity Theft? Read important tips on how to become less vulnerable to identity-related crimes on Stanford University's website.
  • Top Ten Tips for Identity Theft Protection: Taking a person's identifying information and using it without their consent is called identity theft. The California Department of Justice provides consumers with a list of ten ways that they can make themselves less likely to be victimized.
  • Avoiding Online Tax Scams (PDF): During tax season, scammers use a variety of tactics to trick people into giving away their personal information. This two-page guide discusses securing one's computer, not replying to unsolicited emails, ignoring IRS survey scams, and other tactics people can use to protect themselves.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

  • Online Safety Basics: Shopping Online: Shopping online is convenient, but it is also an opportunity for cybercriminals.
  • Ten Ways to Keep From Being Fleeced Online: Jason Lewis, a University of Colorado Denver security expert, offers advice on methods that people can use to reduce their risk of trouble while shopping online.
  • Online Holiday Shopping (PDF): Holiday shopping presents an opportunity for cybercriminals to make money by ripping off consumers. Read this fact sheet on the state of Indiana's website to find valuable advice on what one can do to thwart online thieves.
  • Online Shopping Safety: Online commerce is a familiar hunting ground for identity thieves and other criminals. The Arkansas state government website offers readers some advice about safe practices while shopping in cyberspace.
  • Spending and Saving Online: While buying things online is quick and highly convenient, it is also fraught with hazards. Web Wise Washington helps consumers stay safe with a list of important questions that they should ask any time that they visit an e-commerce website.