As she’s not comfortable driving anymore, your mom is turning to online shopping. She feels it will be easier to order online and have things delivered to her home. She’s not alone. Four out of 10 people admit they shop online several times a month. Shopping online can be handy to an older adult who doesn’t drive, but she needs to be safe.

Online retailers aren’t immune to hacks. In 2019, hackers accessed Macy’s online checkout system. Adidas, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers, and Panera Bread were also hacked in 2019. To stay safe, your mom needs to employ safe online shopping habits.

Use a Designated Card

Your mom should get a reloadable prepaid debit card at a local retailer. She doesn’t want to link it to any of her bank accounts. She’ll simply refill it at the store as needed. Make sure she’s only adding as much as she needs for the purchase she’s making. When she’s shopping, she uses the debit card for the purchase. If a hacker does get the account, it doesn’t matter as it’s not tied to anything else.

Set Up a Free Online Purchases Only Account

Many banks now offer free accounts. Ally and Chime are examples. She can add money through an electronic check. Chime allows you to add money at retailers who are part of the Reload at the Register program. That account can be used to make purchases, but it won’t be tied to any of her other bank accounts. Again, make sure she transfers only as much as she needs for her purchases.

Stick to Secure Sites

Before she purchases anything online, she needs to verify the site uses SSL technology for banking transactions. She wants to ensure the company is using encryption when she’s sending her card information to the retailer.

Find Out If the Store Saves Payment Methods

She should also ask if the website stores payment methods. She should ask them not to store it. If they insist they have to, she needs to choose a different retailer or go in and delete the payment method once her order has shipped. Amazon is one online retailer that stores payment information, but you can go into your settings and remove it easily enough.

You could hire caregivers for home care services. When your mom wants to go out shopping, she wouldn’t have to drive. Her caregiver can drive her to stores, accompany her while shopping, and help her carry packages into the house. Call a home care agency to discuss caregivers and fees.


If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Freeport, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.