While there are still many people who don't feel comfortable using a credit card to make purchases over the Internet, e-commerce is definitely here to stay.
If you take a few precautions, buying over the Internet can actually be safer than using your credit card in a restaurant.
- Just as you should be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for suspicious looking characters when withdrawing money from an ATM, you should know how to recognize the warning signs of Internet fraud and take steps to avoid being a victim.
- Make sure you download the most recent version of your browser to take advantage of advances in encryption capabilities to protect your personal information as it's transmitted over the Internet.
- Watch for the padlock icon on the status bar at the bottom of your browser window, which indicates that the site is secure.
Look for an s
added to the usual http at the beginning of the Web site's
URL when you get ready to submit your purchase information.
The https indicates a secure server.
submitting personal information to a site, read their
and whether it will be sold or shared with other businesses.
If you don't like what you read, shop somewhere else.
Don't provide personal information such as address, telephone number,
Social Security number, bank account number, or e-mail address unless
you know who you're providing the information to, why it's being
requested, and how it will be used.
a credit card, not a debit card, for Internet purchases. Debit cards
don't have the same protection as credit cards when it comes to limiting
your liability for fraudulent use.
Carefully review your credit card and bank statement each month for
unauthorized charges and notify your credit card company or bank
immediately if you notice any charges you didn't authorize.
Clean your computer with
free online software that detects spy ware (such as Spy ware Doctor) and
install a firewall, like the free version of Zone Alarm
(www.zonelabs.com) or Norton Internet Security to ensure that sites you
shop at don't install spy ware on your computer.