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Old 06-02-2006, 06:05 AM
kamesh kamesh is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Default Safe Online shopping - Few Tips

Here are the following tips to help ensure that your online shopping experience is a secure one.

Use a secure Web browser: Your browser should support the most recent industry security standards, namely data encryption such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL enables your browser to encrypt or scramble the information you send over the Internet, ensuring your shopping transactions are secure. Most computers come with a secure browser already installed, and others are available online. Be sure to visit your browser developer's Web site to make sure the version you're using is secure.
Shop with companies you know: It's easy to set up an online store under almost any name. If you're not familiar with a merchant, ask for a catalog or brochure to get a better idea of their merchandise and services. You should also determine the company's refund and return policies before you place your order. These should be posted on the company's Web site.

Use a safe password: Be creative when you establish a password, and never give it out to anyone. Avoid using a telephone number, birth date, or a part of your Social Security number. Instead, use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.

Pay by credit or charge card: If you pay by credit or charge card online, 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 is investigating them. In the event of unauthorized use of your card, you generally are responsible for only the first $50 in charges. Some companies offer an online shopping guarantee that ensures you won't be held responsible for any unauthorized charges made online, and some cards may provide additional warranty, return, and/or purchase protection benefits.

Keep a record: Be sure to print a copy of your purchase order and confirmation number for your records. You should also know that the federal Mail/Telephone Order Merchandise Rule covers online orders. This means that unless the company states otherwise, your purchase must be delivered within 30 days, or the company must notify you of any delays.

Pay bills online only at secure sites: Some companies let you pay bills and check your account status online. Before you sign up for these services, evaluate how the company secures your financial and personal information. One thing to look for is that the company's site supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL supports encryption or scrambling of private information. When you move to the check-out section of a site, the "http" in the address of the site should change to "https," letting you know
you are working with a secure server. Browsers such as Internet Explorer or Netscape will also show a symbol in the lower left of the browser window, such as a padlock or a key, letting you know the server is secure. In addition, all companies should explain their security procedures on their Web sites. If you don't see this information, contact the company and ask.
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