Online Safety

Person shopping online


Shopping Online

Conduct research: When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, posts and texts are often how cybercriminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.

Personal information is like money: value it and protect it: When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.

Use safe payment options: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered.

Don’t be disappointed: Read return policies and other website information so you know what to expect if the purchase doesn’t go as planned.

Protect your Money: When shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with https:// indicating extra measures to help secure your information.

Backup Your Data

Our digital devices contain vast amounts of data, from family photos and music collections to financial/health records and personal contacts. While convenient, storing all this information on a computer or mobile phone comes with the risk of being lost.

Data can be lost in several types of incidents, including computer malfunctions, theft, viruses, spyware, accidental deletion and natural disasters. So it makes sense to back up your files regularly

Many computers come with backup software installed, so check to see if you have backup software. Most backup software programs will allow you to make copies of every file and program on your computer, or just the files you’ve changed since your last backup

Here are links to backup utilities in popular operating systems:

Windows 10

Windows 7 and older


Social Networks

Password Management: Use a different, long, passphrase password for each of your social media accounts.  

Two-Factor Authentication: Most social networks require you to set up security question and answers.  Take your time setting up these Q and A's to ensure that the answers are known only to you. 

Friend Requests:  Be selective with your friend requests.  If you do not know the person, don't accept the request; it could be a fake account.

Clicking Links: Use caution when clicking links within social networks, as they are commonly hacked. Keep an eye out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend would post.

Posting with Discretion: Be careful what you share. Don't post sensitive personal information (home address, financial information, phone number, etc.). The more personal information you post, the easier it would be to have you identity stolen.

Log Off: When you are done with your social network account, log off.  This will prevent your account from being accessed by the user next in line.