Holiday shopping season is here and once again its time to be concerned about cyber crime. Here are some basic tips for safe holiday online shopping.

Know your device

First, make sure that you’re shopping from a clean device, whether that’s your PC, laptop, tablet or phone. Any device you are using to shop online should be equipped with antivirus software and password protection at the bare minimum. And don’t forget to create a complex, secure and original password.

If you are connected to any open Wi-Fi network with your device, be cautious. Any information seen or sent on a public network can be easily intercepted by cyber criminals. Prior to logging onto a public network, make sure that you are logged out of any financial or payment accounts. It may be wise to window shop online when you’re on a public network and then purchase at home on your own secure network.

Holiday scams

As always, there will be email scams in the form of phishing attempts and misleading phone calls.

Just as you would at work, treat your personal emails with caution. Analyze suspicious emails and delete ones that you do not trust. If you receive a strange phone call about a financial alert regarding your account, don’t stay on the line. You can easily hang up and get in contact with your bank and or other financial institution you use to confirm any changes.

Trusted sources

Make sure when shopping via web browser that the website is secure. The easiest way to tell this is to check the web address. If the address starts with “https,” rather than “http,” it means that the protocol is secured by encryption and safer to visit. All safe holiday online shopping should be done through a trusted app or from a securely encrypted web domain.

In terms of payment, stick to a credit card. They have more protection against fraud and less liability if stolen. Debit cards are directly linked with your bank account and are at risk for compromise.

Not sure whether you can trust a particular shopping site? You can check it out by looking it up using this verification tool by Norton.


Since 1939, Hurley Insurance has been serving the personal insurance, business insurance and life insurance needs of all of Lawrence and Scioto Counties in Ohio. A long time Grange independent insurance agency located in Ironton, OH, Hurley Insurance has deep roots in the community, and is committed to providing the highest quality local service to our clients.