Eleven Tips for Secure Online Shopping

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Robert Siciliano

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Here are eleven tips to have a safe online shopping experience during the holiday season:

1. Avoid spoofed websites. Common sense says any time you receive an offer via an e-mail automatically be suspicious. The same goes with offers via tweets and messages received in any social media site.

2. Don’t click the links in e-mails. Especially if it’s a too good to be true offer.

3. Beware of cybersquatting and typosquatting which may look like the domain of the legitimate eTailer.

4. Look for https:// in the address bar signifying it’s a secure page. Generally, scammers won’t take the time to set up secure sites. Note the closed padlock in your browser to back up the HttpS.

5. Beware of e-mails coming for eBay scammers. If you are seeking deals on eBay, go right to the site and don’t bother responding to e-mails. Search deals on an e-mail directly on eBay.

6. Look at the eBayer's history. eBay is set up on the honor system. If the eBayer is an established seller with great feedback, they should be legit.

7. Pay close attention to your statements. Check them every two weeks online and refute unauthorized charges within 2 billing cycles.

8. Don’t use a debit-card online. If your debit card is compromised, that’s money out of your bank account. Credit cards have more protection and less liability.

9. Avoid paying by check online/mail-order. Once the money is taken from your account and you don’t receive the goods, you are going to have a difficult, if not impossible, task of getting it back.

10. Do business with those you know, like and trust. It’s best to buy high ticket items from eTailers that also have brick and mortar locations.

11. Secure your PC. Update your critical security patches and anti-virus and only shop from a secured internet connection.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing credit and debit card fraud on CNBC.

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