Articles: Shopping Tips

Information Technology Press Releases Wednesday December 19, 2007 04:43

Tis the season for holiday shopping, and many of us will be avoiding the mall and the traffic for the growing tradition of shopping online. Just like the days of catalogs, online shopping requires a little advance planning. But along with planning for shipping and delivery times, and finding the best prices, you should plan to not get ripped off this Holiday season. Security experts all over the world agree that criminals have targeted online shopping in general (and holiday online shopping in particular) as a prime place to steal. The good news is you can do something about it. As our gift to you, here are some simple procedures to keep you safe in December 2007.

While you are shopping bear in mind these useful suggestions:

Scan your computer before shopping online. If you do not have software, you can use a free online scanner like Trend Micro HOUSECALL, but bear in mind you are much better off with an installed full spectrum protection package (like Trend Micro Internet Security Pro).

Have complete up-to-date Internet security software for protection from viruses, spyware, Trojans, hackers, and spam. It is very important that your system be patched and up-to- date. The latest patches to your Operating System, Browser, and other important components are all about system security. An unpatched system basically puts the welcome mat out for the cyber criminals. The Internet security software suites test systems for known and needed updates and patches, and help update your system wherever it is needed.

Upgrade to IE 7.0, or switch to an alternative browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape, or Apple Safari. There are vulnerabilities in all browsers, but IE 6 (being the world's most popular web browser) gets the lion's share.

Always make sure the wireless network you are connected to is secure. Free wireless hot spots are not always safe. Don't shop online or send confidential information over the internet while using a free wireless hot spot. Browse and order later, or call the retailer to order.

Do not use public computers to shop online, as you don't know what kind of good or bad software has been loaded on it.
Password protect your computer, PDA, and other digital equipment.

Know the merchant you're shopping with and make sure the Web site is legitimate - TrendProtect? (www.TrendSecure.com) is a free online service that helps consumers to avoid unsafe Web sites that have potential threats. Click on logos to make sure they are real. When clicking on a logo you can see information about the sites certification status.

Check the URL, before entering your personal information make sure the web address starts with "https", indicating the purchase is secured. An unbroken key or closed padlock in the bottom right of your browser is another sign the site is secure.

Avoid the temptation of keeping your credit card information on your hard drive. Remove unnecessary information from your laptop and USB drive, in case the device(s) are compromised or stolen.

Do not use a debit card and never wire money. Use one credit card with a low limit or a temporary card number. If your credit card number gets stolen, you will only lose a maximum of $50 and a temporary card number limits the exposure of your financial information to thieves and hackers.

Think about using Bill Me Later or Google Checkout that offers ways to pay without needing a credit card.

Be careful of emails. Phising emails increase during the holiday season, emails that look like they are from retailers, banks and even charities. If you receive an email about a transaction, call the number on your bank statement rather than clicking a link or using a phone number in the email.

Stay alert of auction and classified ad sites, these are easy sites for scams.
Turn off your computer when you are done shopping. Do not leave your computer on 24/7; this leaves your computer exposed for cyber criminals to install malicious software on your machine.
For more information please contact
Srisuput Siangyen and Bussakorn Sonthikorn
Public Relations Consultant
Core & Peak Co.,Ltd.
Tel. 0-2439-4600 ext. 8202
e-mail: srisuput@corepeak.com, busakorns@corepeak.com

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