Tips for Safe Holiday Online Purchasing

While the shopping frenzy is at its all-year high, Network Associates’ business unit McAfee launched an educational campaign called Safe Holiday Online Purchasing (SHOP). Security experts from McAfee and some other online shopping fraud experts are warning users of the possible threats from shopping online during the holidays. The five SHOP tips are:

  1. Never purchase spam-advertised products! Aside from encouraging the spammers, this also makes more of your personally identifiable information-name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, and the like- available to spammers. It also can guarantee that you’ll get more spam at your email address.
  2. Always protect your personal information. Only share your credit card, social security number or other personal information when making purchases from a company or financial institution that you know and trust.
  3. Never send personal information to email requests. You should never be asked for a password, credit card number or social security number from a legitimate source via email. Beware of official-sounding notices that require you to “give up” your personal information due to supposedly dire consequences.
  4. Use a credit card with a “substitute card number” This new technology allows consumers to use a credit card without typing their real card number online. Substitute card number technology to protect consumers is available from major card issuers such as Citibank, MBNA and Discovercard.
  5. Verify any transaction. If a Web site address looks different from the name of the organization that you’re dealing with or if you have doubts about your transaction, look for a phone number on the Web site and call the organization to verify that the Web site is valid. Don’t deal with any organization that doesn’t clearly state its name, physical address and phone number on its Web site.

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