How to Shop Securely Online

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Hi everyone! The company that makes the anti-virus software I use on my PC sent this email to all its customers. This advice is really good, so I want to share it with my readers.
I don’t want it to seem like I’m advertising for them, so I didn’t include the link. I copied and pasted it here:

Here are some tips for online shopping to help keep you (and your finances) safe when you fire up the Internet.

Make sure the online checkout is secure – When you add an item to an online store’s checkout, you should be taken to a secure page. This allows you to enter your payment information with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.
You can find this in the site’s web address. Look for “https” at the beginning of the URL. This is the same encryption that many banks use. You can also check for verification by clicking on a security certification seal, like the Norton Secured Seal. These certificates are more than just images; they allow you to click on them and verify the site’s security in real time. Along this line…
Be wary of unknown sites – Amazon and other high-profile ecommerce sites know the value of ensuring their site security is top notch. They also have the budget to throw into their site maintenance to help it stay that way. But practically anyone can set up an Internet site today. That doesn’t mean it’s secure, however.
If you’re thinking about buying from an unknown retailer, do a sanity check first. Search for reviews on the retailer. Are there any? Are they positive? If so, look for the security signs we just discussed. If you see none, it could be the site’s designer doesn’t know what he’s doing (someone’s 12-year-old nephew, perhaps?). Or worse—it’s a criminal who knows exactly what he’s doing.
Either way, point your browser elsewhere—fast.
Keep your antivirus software up to date – What does malware have to do with online shopping? Maybe plenty if you’re infected with a keylogger. This insidious software can record every keystroke and secretly send back information to the cybercriminals who made it. This includes any credit card or other payment information you’ve tapped out into the most secure shopping sites.
Can a secure site prevent this from happening? No. The malware is on your computer. So use an anti-malware product to scan and get rid of any malware that may be lurking on your computer.

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