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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Good primer regarding preventing ID theft while shopping online

For those of you who like to shop online (i.e. my wife), here's a good article about how to prevent your identity from getting stolen while doing your online Christmas shopping this year:
Online shopping might be a convenient way to tackle your holiday gift list, but is your money really safe in cyber space? Experts offer some tips to safeguard your personal information.

"There's different shapes and forms that they can rob you," says Cesar Fazz, Security Manager for AEA Federal Credit Union. The recently-retired police lieutenant also knows scammers will do anything to steal your money.

"You've got to look at the address on there and look at the sites," says Faaz. Before you embark on cyber shopping, he suggests looking for a few security features.
"If you get on and they have an http address, if there's an 's' usually after that, that usually means it's a secure website." Look for the "s" when you access a web page asking you for personal information such as your credit card number.

Also watch out for a yellow lock icon.
"All that means is that the information is being sent from you, the buyer, to the website that that information is being encrypted and so forth," explains Faaz.

Those features are not fool-proof. Fazz says consumers need to first update all anti-virus software. That's because some viruses will install a program to record everything you type.
"It'll get a virus on your computer and then they're able to either see or record those keys that you're pushing like your password."

Finally forget email links. Manually type in the retailer's web address to avoid being routed to a scam site.
No measure will keep you absolutely safe from identity theft, so experts suggest you read your credit card statements to make sure you didn't become a victim without even knowing it.
 The original article can be found here, at Yuma, AZ's KSWT Channel 13's website - http://www.kswt.com/Global/story.asp?S=11602781.

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