Read This Before You Shop Online

Cheyenne is the largest city I’ve ever lived in. I grew up in a town with a population of less than 6,000. Shopping has never been easy. I’ve traveled 3+ hours to shop multiple times in my life. It’s nice to live in a larger city with more options than I’ve ever had.

Many residents of Wyoming and other rural states can appreciate the world of online shopping. With the holidays growing near, many turn to the internet to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-please loved one or friend. The internet can be a tricky place, so I wanted to provide some tips to help keep you safe if you decide to shop from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Ensure your connection is safe; encrypted connections are advisable when shopping online.
  2. Use the tools built into your web browser to ensure you are on a vetted website.anna_1

Click on the little lock icon:



All items should indicate you are accessing the correct page, with a secure connectionanna_2

  1. Use a credit card vs. debit card; credit cards are safer for online purchases due to the set limits they have in place. If your debit card is misused, your entire balance could be lost. You can pay the credit card off right away and sometimes earn rewards! Credit cards sometimes offer a virtual number that is good for one time online shopping. Ask your credit card company if this is a service they provide. For more information on virtual card numbers:
  2. Use a company such as Paypal to pay; the company has very strict and secure online policies in place to prevent theft of your account. When PayPal is set up, you link your credit card information to them; when you pay with PayPal, they act as the middle man which keeps your information safe. You’ll need to keep a secure password for your PayPal account, as anyone who gains access to it will also have access to your bank account information. For more information about PayPal:
  3. Use reputable online retailers to make your purchases. If you see something on Pinterest that you just have to have, but the website is one you have never heard of, check on other websites (such as Amazon) to see if they carry a similar item. If a website is offering deep discounts, be wary. Consider the old adage: “If it is too good to be true, it probably is.”
  4. Never click on links in email or social media; if you get an email or see an ad about a sale, open your web browser and go straight to the company’s website to check on it out. If the sale is real, the information will be available on their website.
  5. Never, under any circumstances, give credit card information out via email.

No one can guarantee safety when shopping online; there are criminals who want to steal your information and come up with very devious plans to try to part you with your money. The only sure-fire way to keep your money safe is to drive to the store and pay with cash. You can use steps like the ones highlighted above, and many others, to get those great deals and shop online.

Want more information? The library has database resources to look up more tips, and as well as a few books on this topic to check out:



Call number: 004.1675 ANDROID
Title: Android tablets for seniors in easy steps.




Call number: 364.1633 ARA
Title: Identity theft for dummies.



Call number: 332.024 HOW
Title: Clark Howard’s living large in lean times : 250+ ways to buy smarter, spend smarter, and save money


~ Anna M.


“To Keep Your Cards Safe While Shopping Online.”, 27 June 2016. Infotrac Newsstand, Accessed 4 Nov. 2016.