Safer Internet: Browsing: Shopping


  • store+ More and more purchases online
  • + Your personal info is useful to marketers.
  • + Financial info is especially interesting to criminals.



  • view other accountsUse https: for login
  • If using an app, make sure it's authentic (check name, ratings, source, etc.)
  • [Refs:Apple]: "Apple just removed hundreds of fake shopping apps from the App Store"
  • Save credit card info in a password manager rather than browser -- more secure, sync across browsers/platforms
  • macOS: Safari > Preferences > AutoFill > Credit Cards: off
  • iOS: Settings > Safari > AutoFill > Credit Cards: off
  • Avoid storing credit info on merchant site, if possible (though some may require)
  • This is less of an issue for major, established vendors, e.g., Amazon, Apple
  • Enable account notifications (email/text) if supported, e.g., for an international charge; for an online, phone or mail charge; for an amount over $x
  • Clear purchase lists?
  • Rank credit cards by importance and impact; what happens if one is compromised?
  • Use different credit cards for different purposes/sites, e.g., online only, regular automatic payments, one-time purchases with new vendors, etc.; use temporary card numbers if available (see next)


  • click noseSingle-use, virtual credit card number, e.g., ShopSafe, Virtual Account Numbers
  • ShopSafe creates a temporary credit card # & security code; you set expiration date and credit limit, e.g., B of A; it may require Flash (use Chrome)
  • Virtual Account Numbers work similarly; e.g., Citi not for Costco Visa unfortunately
  • Check with your bank or credit card company
  • Use PayPal (vendor doesn't see credit card info)
  • Downside: PayPal blocks some kinds of quasi-legal purchases, which might violate copyright, decency, use VPN, etc.


  • Use cryptocurrency, e.g., Bitcoin



Cryptocurrency, e.g., Bitcoin