10 tips for safe online shopping

Take these security measures to help protect your money and your identity when you shop online

A woman is shopping online on her laptop

Shopping online has become a way of life. You can buy almost anything online and have it delivered the next day — which is incredibly convenient for giving last-minute gifts or preparing for special events.

With all this convenience, though, many people don’t take the precautions necessary to protect their personal financial information. Unfortunately, scammers are waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting (and unprotected) shoppers.

As a way to help protect your money and your identity, here are 10 security measures to keep in mind while shopping online.

  1. Shop only on secure websites — the URL should have a closed-lock icon or begin with “https.” Hackers may use websites that mimic popular sites to trick you into revealing your personal information — so beware. Some hackers may slightly alter a familiar website URL by transposing a character or merely capitalizing one letter. Pay attention to the website address — even for sites you know and trust.
  2. Use unique passwords on all online accounts. Consider using a unique phrase with a mix of letters and numbers. Avoid using any part of your email address or information shared on social media, like the name of your pet, favorite movie, or anything else that someone could easily guess. Do not use the same password from one account to the next — each online account you use should have a unique password.
  3. Only share information required to make your online purchase (typically whatever has an asterisk on it). Avoid providing your personal information (such as your birthday or Social Security number) when it isn’t required. When used together with your financial information, you may be more vulnerable to fraud.
  4. Avoid “saving” passwords or financial information on a website. While it may seem convenient to do so, it’s also easier for a hacker to access this information.
  5. Pay securely with a digital wallet when making an online purchase. Digital wallets replace your actual card number with a unique digital card number. This means businesses do not see or store your full card number. Learn more about digital wallets here.
  6. Choose a payment option that helps to protect against unauthorized use. Wells Fargo Credit and Debit Cards come with Zero Liability protection at no extra cost, which means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized transactions, as long as you report them promptly.1
  7. Regularly monitor your accounts using online and mobile banking. If you notice an unauthorized charge from your debit or credit card, contact your bank immediately. For unauthorized charges on a Wells Fargo Debit or Credit Card, contact the number on the back of your card or the Report Fraud number on wellsfargo.com for assistance.
  8. Set up alerts.2 Alerts can help you monitor your account balance and transactions, and inform you of recent changes so you can take action immediately to help avoid fraud or unexpected charges.
  9. Keep anti-virus, anti-spyware, and malware removal programs up to date on all your devices. Alerts can help you monitor your account balance and transactions, and inform you of recent changes so you can take action immediately to help avoid fraud or unexpected charges.
  10. Avoid shopping online over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. If you must perform financial transactions on the go, use your mobile data.

Adding security measures to your daily routine can help you feel confident that your personal information is safer while shopping online.

Learn how we are proactively advancing our security to help give you the protection you deserve here.

1 Please refer to your applicable Wells Fargo account agreement and card terms and conditions for information on liability for unauthorized transactions.
2 Availability may be affected by your mobile carrier’s coverage area. Your mobile carrier’s message and data rates may apply.