Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Online Shopping Tips - How Safe is it?

The number one reason shoppers do not make purchases online is because they have concerns about credit card security. The news media sometimes have stories of commercial websites being infiltrated by computer hackers, or credit card numbers being stolen online. However, these days, it is more common that thieves will get hold of your credit card information in a restaurant or gas station.

When shopping online, there are several things you can do to help ensure a safe shopping experience.

1. When using a credit card online, make sure you are on a "secure" site before you give your name, address or credit card details. Look for a padlock or a key symbol, which are usually in the bottom corner of your screen or for a policy that indicates use of strong security technology such as SSL. On a secure site, your information is scrambled into code, (encrypted) before being sent over the Internet, and stored on a secure database.

2. Even better is to look to see if the company you are purchasing from uses an online credit card processing company. Sensitive information is sent directly to their highly secure site where address verification and Visa/ Master Card security codes are used to catch fraudulent cards. (InternetSecure is one example of a secure credit card hosting company. They are one of the largest and most reliable payment processing networks in North America processing over a billion transactions annually.)

3. Avoiding sending your credit card details in an email, this is not a secure means of transmitting information and can be copied easily to others.

4. Check website privacy policies, returns and guarantees. If in doubt, call or email the company you want to purchase from. A reputable company will be more then willing to help answer any questions you may have.

5. Be sure to keep a paper trail. Print out the seller’s contact information, a copy of your receipt, a page describing the item you ordered, and the email confirming the order.

6. And finally, if you are ever in doubt about whether you should give out your credit card information, CALL the Customer Service number found on the back of your Visa, Master Card or American Express, and ask THEM if the company you are dealing with is a "SAFE AND SECURE" company to give personal information to.

Gifts for Every Reason is one of those companies!
Have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.

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