Shopping Safely Online
the course of the day you may write a check at the drugstore, charge
tickets to a concert, or apply for a credit card. Chances are you
don't give these everyday transactions a second thought. But
others may.They may be trying to steal your identity.
You just found the perfect antique lamp at an online auction site.You
send off the check to the seller, but never receive the merchandise.Your
mother has decided to begin purchasing her medicine online. Is it
safe to do so?
The Internet is an exciting tool that puts a vast amount of information
at your fingertips. With the click of a mouse you can buy the latest
bestseller, make travel arrangements, rent a video, or purchase
a gift for a friend.
Convenience, good deals, and choices are all good things that
the Internet offers. But before you use it, be cybersmart and make
your online experience a safe one.
- Shop with companies you know. Anyone can set up an online shop
under almost any name. If you are not familiar with a merchant,
ask for a paper catalog to get a better idea of their merchandise
and services. Also be sure to determine a company's return
and refund policies before making your purchase.
- Keep your password private. Never give your password to anyone.
Avoid using a birthday or a portion of your Social Security number.
If possible, use a combination of letters and numbers.
- Use a secure browser. This is the software you use to navigate
the Internet. Your browser should comply with all industry security
standards. These standards encrypt or scramble purchase information
you send over the Internet. Most computers have a browser installed.
Some browsers may be downloaded from the Internet free of charge.
- Pay by credit card. If you pay by credit card, your transaction
will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law,
you have the right to dispute charges under certain circumstances
and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates
- Keep personal information private. Do not give out your Social
Security number, e-mail address, telephone number, or address
unless you know who is collecting the information, why they're
collecting it, and how they'll use it.
- Save all transaction information, including e-mails and records
of any phone conversations.
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Crime Prevention Tips Provided by:
National Crime Prevention Council