Tips for safe online shopping

This article is no longer maintained, so its content might be out of date.

Love the convenience of online shopping but worried about identity theft? Firefox has tools to help keep your information secure. Just follow these simple tips for a safe and stress-free online experience.

Tip 1: Shop only at trusted and secure sites

Look for the padlock symbol on the address bar before submitting any private information. The padlock shows that your connection is secure, so identity thieves cannot "eavesdrop" and extract your information.

Clicking on the icon on your address bar will also tell you who owns the website and who verified it. This information helps you avoid fake sites that try to trick you into giving them your information.

Paypal - Green padlock - Mac

For more information, see How do I tell if my connection to a website is secure?

Tip 2: Use strong passwords

Avoid creating passwords that are easy to guess, and try not to use the same password for all your online accounts. Follow these tips for creating strong passwords that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to figure out.

Tip 3: Protect your browsing information

When sharing a computer with others, follow these tips to keep your information, such as browsing history and logins, private:

  • Use Private Browsing mode when shopping to prevent your history, site preferences or logins from being saved and accessed by others. Private Browsing also blocks cookies, preventing fraudsters and snoops from tracking your behavior.
private browsing - fx29 - win8private browsing - fx29 - macprivate browsing - fx29 - linux
  • If you forget to use Private Browsing mode on a shared computer, don't worry. You can still use the Forget button forget button gray to quickly delete your recent information without affecting the rest.
forget controls
  • Use a Master Password to protect your stored login information. This prevents other people from using your saved login information to access your accounts on a shared or stolen device.
Avoid using a public computer on an open wireless network, like at a coffee shop, computer lab or library. Open wireless networks will still put you at risk of information theft. If you must use a public computer on an open wireless network, then you can use a Virtual private network (VPN) for more safety.

These fine people helped write this article:

Illustration of hands


Grow and share your expertise with others. Answer questions and improve our knowledge base.

Learn More