Computer Crime Research Center


Protect yourself from online fraud

Date: November 29, 2005

The malls can be crazy during the holiday season with long checkout lines and little parking. But cyberspace is great spot to start your shopping.

According to NewsChannel5, more than ever, people are doing their shopping over the Internet. Many consumers are going online to avoid crowds and parking.

If you're interested in becoming one of the billions of people Web shopping, here's a primer to help get you on your merry way.

3 Simple Steps Everyone Should Take:

1. Use your credit card. (Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, your credit card company covers you for all but $50).

2. Check the seller's privacy policy, payment options, shipping costs and insurance and return policies.

3. Print out and save your online invoices or e-mail order confirmations. These can serve as your insurance policy if you receive the wrong order (or never receive your order).

How To Tell If Your Net Connection Is Secure?

Most online merchants use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt your data, so no third party can view it. If a site's address begins with https, instead of http, the site is using this type of security technology. Another type of security is Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) technology. Sites with SET software will show a locked padlock at the bottom of your screen in Netscape Navigator, or on the status bar in Internet Explorer.

Also, look for the VeriSign seal on a site. This signifies that that business has agreed to comply with the security terms of VeriSign Security Compliance Internet Trust Services -- the leaders in the technology needed to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications. A site bearing the VeriSign seal assures visitors that the site is secure and that your data will be encrypted. The VeriSign seal also assures that a site is real, the company name and Web site address have been verified and that a background check has been done to confirm that the company has the right to use a specific company name.
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