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Defend your Data: Use these tips to shop safely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  • Shop only on secure sites. Before entering your credit card information, look for the lock icon and https:// at the beginning of the web address. The "s" means the site is secure. 
  • Use a dedicated card for all online purchases. Credit cards are generally the safest payment option and offer protections that debit cards don’t. NEVER send your credit card information via email or store it on your computer. 
  • Don’t overshare. Don’t complete your order if a site requests personal information not necessary for processing payment, like your Social Security number or mother’s maiden name. 
  • Use only secure Wi-Fi. Logging into email and banking accounts on free, public Wi-Fi networks puts your information at risk of being stolen. 
  • Do your research. Before purchasing something from a website you’ve never used, read reviews and understand return policies. 
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical with suspicious-looking emails, even those claiming to come from a well-known company or shipping service. Phishing scams aimed at stealing your information are often cleverly designed. Don’t click on email attachments or links without verifying the legitimacy of a company’s website. 
  • Be wary of spoofed calls. Phone scammers may call claiming to be your bank or a shipping company. NEVER provide personal or financial information via email or phone. Legitimate companies already have it. Instead, hang up and call the number on the company’s website or your account statement to see if there really is an issue. 
  • Never use your WVU Login credentials for personal accounts and online shopping.

WVU’s Acceptable Use of Data and Technology Resources policy permits incidental personal use of University-owned computers, provided it doesn’t interfere with work. But be aware that you should not expect privacy or confidentiality for personal activities like online shopping.