The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Unguarded Systems
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping
Check your credit cards fine print. Often, credit cards protect against any fraudulent activity, but not all do. With so many credit card offers flying through the mail, take the time to read the fine print.
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Saved Credit Card Info
If you're using a shared terminal for shopping at work (during lunch, of course), dont let e-tail sites remember your credit card data. It's certainly convenient to do so, but if someone else uses your terminal while youre away, you could get burned.
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Bait-and-Switch Pricing
Comparison sites are filled with low prices solely designed to attract attention. The honest sites hope youll buy up; the dishonest ones claim that they're suddenly out of stock of the item you really did want and try to sell you something much more expe
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Shipping, Handling and Tax
Many consumers make a decision based solely on an item's price and then drop into going through the motions mode when filling out the checkout form. Thats where many e-tailers introduce shipping, tax and other charges. Many e-tailers-especi
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Rotten Return Policies
Programs are now being put into place to guard against consumers who buy merchandise, use it for a one-time event and then return it (think formal gown for the black-tie charity ball or expensive piece of equipment for that do-it-yourself repair job). How
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Hidden Merchants
Note who is really selling to you: Some super-merchants, such as Amazon.com, sell many products directly but supplement their wares with offerings it sells for others. The terms (returns, shipments, guarantees and so on) can be quite different, but sites
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Confusing Comparisons
Beyond the bait-and-switch issue, comparison sites are an excellent tool for shopping for goods that are presumably identical, such as shrink-wrapped software or a specific printer model. But watch for small changes in model numbers that cause the compari
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Brick-and-Mortar Bypass
Many brick-and-mortar stores will match-or better-their online counterparts. Its not a bad idea to do extensive Web searches, but hold off on buying until you can run the printout by local merchants. They may surprise you.
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Krazy Kiosks
Avoid trusting a stores PC or kiosk to give you Web pricing. BestBuy, for example, was charged with telling consumers an in-store kiosk was showing its Web site when it was actually showing an identical-looking site with higher prices.
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - In-Store ?ö?ç??Pickup'
When you purchase online and elect to pick up the item in the store, try to speak with an actual person to ensure that that item is really available. Better yet, try to get that person to put the item in question behind the counter for you. Many consumers
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Unknown Quantities
It is always best to know the reputation of the companies you choose to do business with. If you are not familiar with an online retailer, be sure to check its Web site for contact details, including a physical address and phone number. Also, look to see
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Insecure Web Sites
Ensure that you are shopping at a secure Web site, one that uses encryption technology to scramble the information you send-such as your credit card number-to prevent identity thieves from gaining access to it as it travels over the Internet. Secure Web s
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Too Much Information
Even on a secure site, do not send any more financial information than is necessary to complete a transaction. And, always keep a paper copy of the transaction for your records. Source: EDS
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - No Privacy
Review privacy and security policies for the companies you do business with online. All reputable companies post a privacy and security policy or statement on their Web site. This should tell you what information the company collects, how it is used and
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Unguarded Systems
Don't let your very own system be the cause of a security problem. Install commonly available security tools such as anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a personal firewall. These programs and the computer's operating system must be maintaine
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Poor Passwords
A password rife with personal information can be a gateway to all kinds of problems. Using information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, names, common words, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers can make you an easy target. Be sure your pass
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Attention Deficits
One of the biggest security threats is the user who just doesn't pay attention. To stay secure, monitor online activity regularly. If you conduct business online, review your account statements often and consider using a separate credit card for online pu
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Procrastination
Identity thieves typically use stolen information for only a short period of time to avoid being caught. If you suspect a security breach, contact the organizations you do business with immediately. Source: EDS
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - A World of Trouble
Be aware that international security and privacy standards may be different. When you shop in the United States, you are protected by state and federal consumer laws; these laws may not apply if you place an order internationally. You should print out and
The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping - Phishing Expeditions
Beware of phishing e-mails that appear to be from trusted merchants. Phishing is one of the fastest-growing forms of online fraud. Phishing e-mails appear legitimate, often addressing you by name, which makes them even more convincing. Thieves sending t