Texas Tech University

A Reminder to Practice Safe Computing Around the Holidays

Since the holiday season is a prime time for Internet criminals, the TTU Office of the CIO encourages you to be mindful as you do your online holiday shopping:

  • Look for the lock icon on the browser’s status bar and make sure that “https” appears in the address before completing your purchase; This indicates that the connection is secure and your credit card information is encrypted. If you don’t see a lock icon or https://, then your connection is not secure and your information could be at risk; 
  • Pay with a credit card instead of a debit card. With credit card transactions, you have a period of time before money is transferred to the seller, but debit transactions are immediately withdrawn from your account. You may also consider paying via a one-time use credit card or a gift card;
  • Shop through reputable online stores. Even for reputable online stores, where possible, manually type in the URL instead of clicking links on emails. Be cautious of sellers in online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Craigslist. Since many sellers are individuals, there is always the possibility of online fraud or not getting the gift you purchased; 
  • Save emails regarding your online transactions, especially online receipts and any electronic correspondence you have with the retailer or seller; and
  • Review your credit card and bank statements as you receive them (and more frequently online) and immediately report unauthorized charges.

You can find additional information at these national resources:

Stop Think Connect http://stopthinkconnect.org
OnGuard Online https://www.onguardonline.gov
Stay Safe Online http://staysafeonline.org
Microsoft Safety & Security Center https://www.microsoft.com/security/default.aspx
National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education http://csrc.nist.gove/nice

For assistance, contact your local IT expert or an area IT security provider.


Cybersecurity Practices Initiative: Lubbock