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Essential tips for shopping on-line without problems

BitDefender UK : 27 November, 2009  (Technical Article)
In the run-up to Christmas, BitDefender is offering sound advice for on-line shoppers to help them shop more safely
It's that time of year again. Christmas is just around the corner, and it's time to shop! BitDefender offers some simple tips to help consumers protect themselves from online scammers this holiday season.

"Taking advantage of the many benefits of online shopping like competitive pricing, great selection, or even freebies like zero shipping fees and free gift wrapping, doesn't have to cost consumers more than they've bargained for," warns Catalin Cosoi, BitDefender's senior antispam researcher. "By being aware of a few key issues, consumers can shop safely with the knowledge they need to protect their personal information and their PC."

The following tips include suggestions to consider before shopping online this holiday season and throughout the New Year:

Know where you're shopping and read the small print - Not every web site and online shop is a safe and reputable merchant. The truth is many thieves are quite skilled at crafting very convincing, legitimate-looking online shopping sites. Be very careful who you purchase from.

If the merchant wants more than your name and email address in order to cash in that coupon, beware - A common phishing tactic targeting online shoppers utilises online promotions and sales to entice a consumer to enter personal information in order to receive coupons or other merchandise. While many reputable sites offer coupons or samples, they will never ask for excessive amounts of personal information to redeem them, most only require a name and email address.


* Always shop from a secure PC with a good security suite installed.
* Try to stick to the known and trusted sites.
* Be wary of "great gift" or "special offer" emails from unknown addresses, it is likely to be fake and should be avoided.
* Use credit cards instead of debit cards. Debit cards offer a lower liability in case you are the victim of fraud.
* Check for security seals on all shopping sites.
* Make sure that the connection to the website is a https. This doesn't guarantee safety, but in most cases these sites are safe.
* Consider alternative ways of payment, such as cash upon delivery.
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