Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Online Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

While shopping online is a great time saver, very convenient, and can offer a better selection than local stores, there are precautions you need to take to safeguard your identity and your credit cards. Here are a few tips to help you shop safely and securely. Just take a few precautions and you can comfortably complete your holiday shopping from home while everyone else is out in the cold! :-)

  1. Always check the security of the checkout pages of any online merchant you are purchasing from. This means that when you are on the checkout page you should see "https" in the web address, the "s"indicates "secure." Also at the bottom of the page, you will see a graphic of a closed lock or unbroken key indicating the site is secure.

  2. Another way to check security when you are on the checkout page is to go to the top menu and click "File,"then "Properties." You will get a Properties pop-up screen that shows the Protocol as "HyperTextTransfer Protocol with Privacy" and the Connection will state "SSL with (at least) 128 bit encryption."You will also see a restatement of the https web address. Make sure it matches the address of the page you are supposed to be on. If all of these factors are in place, you can be relatively certain that you are on a secure site.

  3. Read the return policy before you buy. If you don't like the policy, buy somewhere else.

  4. Be sure you can locate the contact information for the merchant easily on the site.

  5. Print a receipt of your purchase before logging off of the site. Don't just rely on an e-mailed copy of a receipt. Sometimes even e-mails get lost.

Follow these few simple guidelines and you'll have your holiday shopping done in no time! Check back soon for our annual listing of top online places to shop and special online offerings.

Happy Shopping!

1 comment:

angelinjones said...

It is also a good idea to dress casually, so that you can move around easily. Women should leave high heels at home during a holiday shopping trip. If you are forced to flee a dangerous situation, it is much easier to run if you’re wearing flat shoes instead of heels. You might also want to leave your purse at home to avoid having it stolen. Try to keep shopping cards, credit cards, checkbooks, and the like on your person during holiday shopping. Wear a jacket or coat that has pockets where you can store keys and other items that you generally keep in your purse.

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