Protect Your Identity Online: Do’s and Don’ts of Online Holiday ShoppingBy Home Security Source 11/27/2009 | 1:10:00 pmPosted in: DIY Safety, Personal Safety
For the last five years, identity theft has been the top consumer complaint reported to the Federal Trade Commission. To avoid having your credit compromised during the busiest shopping season of the year, remember the do’s and don’ts of online shopping this holiday season:
Online Shopping Don’ts:
- DON’T download or install software from Websites you don’t know or trust. When you download free file-sharing programs, games, wallpapers or other software, you may also be inadvertently downloading malware along with it.
- DON’T reply to email or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information and never click on or copy and paste links in the message.
- DON’T email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure way to transfer personal information. If you want to provide your personal or financial information to an online retailer, look for indicators that the site is secure. Although no security indicator is foolproof, according to the FTC good indications that a site is secure are: a lock icon in the browser’s status bar or a URL that begins with “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”).
Online Shopping Do’s:
- DO confirm the seller’s address and phone number if you are shopping on a site for the first time. Make sure you can contact the seller if you need to. If you can’t find a working phone number, take your business to a different site or seller.
- DO keep a paper trail. Print and save your online receipts, product and shipping information and all emails you send or receive from the seller or vendor. Verify receipt information with your credit card statements.
- DO pay for online purchases with your credit card, rather than online services or debit cards. Credit cards have better guarantees under Federal law than online payment or debit cards, if you notice an unauthorized use of your credit or charge card, you may only be held liable for the first $50 in charges.
The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and if you plan on doing any portion of your holiday shopping online this year, you’ll want to make sure your personal, financial information and your identity are safe.
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