Defense Against Crime

02/12/2013

How to Stay Safe Shopping Online

Like many of you I enjoy shopping online on sites like E-bay, Amazon, Wal-mart, or even PepperEyes.com instead of going to the malls, shopping centers, or to a nearby city and then have deals with lines, or an item not being in-stock or having to drive from store to store to find a certain item. With the easy of the internet you can search of the item, compare prices, order it, type in your payment information, and then have the item shipped to wherever you need it to go. However, while shopping on line is easy and convenient, for you, it can also be just as easy for scammers, cyber thieves, and identity thieves.

While there are risks involved with shopping online just as there are risks involved with shopping in a brick-n-mortar store, there are certain things that you can do to reduce your chances of becoming an online crime victim.

Capital One and Onyx Knight Enterprises offers these tips to keep your online shopping experience a safe one:

  • Use secure online shopping sites – To ensure that your information is protected when shopping online, look for an unbroken key or padlock at the bottom of your web browser when providing payment information. When you’re asked to provide payment information, the beginning of the website’s URL address should change from http to shttp or https, indicating that the purchase is encrypted or secured.
  • Check out the seller – Look for online merchants who are members of a seal-of-approval program that sets voluntary guidelines for privacy-related practices, such as TRUSTe , Verisign, or BBBonline. Alternatively you can do an internet search on their name to see how long they have been in business, and also search for their name followed by the words SCAM or COMPLAINTS. If it’s your first time on an unfamiliar site, call the seller’s phone number, so you know you can reach them if you need to. If you can’t find a working phone number, take your business elsewhere.
  • Use caution with social mediaSocial media sites like Facebook and Twitter are increasingly used by retailers to promote new deals and disseminate coupons. Unfortunately, scammers are also using these sites, often masquerading as a friend to deliver malicious links or downloads that can allow hackers to steal personal information. Keep this in mind when using social media tools and be particularly suspicious of messages or promotions you did not sign up to receive, even if they come from “friends.” Instead of following links, go directly to the store’s website and navigate to find the special sale item. We generally post our coupons Codes on our FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER FEED.
  • Never give out your account information or social security number – Never respond to emails or instant messages that ask you to provide account information for “verification.” Don’t follow links to websites in such emails, either. These are known as “phishing” scams and are used to collect account information that can then be used for fraudulent purchases. You can check out links without clicking on them by putting your cursor over them. If the link doesn’t go to the same web site…it’s usually a scam.
  • Consider how you’ll payCredit cards/DEBIT CARDS/PAYPAL/GOOGLE PAY/ generally are a safe option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered. Don’t send cash or use a money-wiring service because you’ll have no recourse if something goes wrong.
  • Keep your password privateMany e-commerce websites require shoppers to log-in before viewing or placing an order. When selecting a password, do not use commonly known information, such as your name, birth date, or numbers from your driver’s license or Social Security number. You should also refrain from reusing the same password for multiple sites. SEE HOW TO CREATE GOOD PASSWORDS

  • Choose security question answers that only you knowIn addition to keeping your passwords private, also beware of security questions that help retrieve your password in the event that you forget it. Even the most trivial information – like your mother’s maiden name or first pet’s name – can be exploited by cyber criminals. Many of these details may seem unimportant, but they can serve as password recovery hints for email addresses or online banking accounts. Users can also put in non-sense words to common questions, for example if the question is Mother’s maiden name, you can type in her middle name or your favorite fruit.
  • Keep a paper trailPrint and save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and copies of any email you exchange with the seller. Read your credit card statements as soon as you get them to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges.
  • Use a secure computerWhen you’re away from home, do not save private information onto computers used by the public. If you’re accessing a private account at the library or another public place, be sure to log out completely from your accounts, and do not save log in information (like your username or password) on these computers. DO NOT DO ANY FINANCIAL TRANSACTION on a PUBLIC WI-FI.
  • Keep your web browsers and operating system up to date Most software developers release updates of their software on a regular basis that provide fixes to known problems, improve performance, and provide new functionality. In general, it’s up to the user to decide if and when software should be updated or upgraded to a new release. Upgrading and keeping your software especially your firewall, virus and malware detections current can ensure that your system has the highest level of protection.

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime. If you want to take personal responsibility for self-protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. PepperEyes.com is a subsidiary of Onyx Knight Enterprises.

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