Security For Computer Users
- 3.2 million Canadian households shopped online in 2003 spending just over $3 billion (Statistics Canada)
- Households are increasingly using the internet as a method of purchasing goods from both Canadian and foreign vendors (Statistics Canada)
- Many shoppers indicate concerns about security
- 16% of attacks on business and individuals were directed at the e-commerce industry in the first half of 2004 (Symantec)
- Shopping from the comfort of your home can be convenient and more relaxing, but there are a few things to keep in mind before surfing for sales.
Tips for shopping online:
- Shop with companies you know:
- find out about their physical locations
- If a website doesn't give its address and contact information, consider taking your business elsewhere
- Know what you're paying:
- Whatever is listed on the site can be substantially different from the final price
- A reputable vendor will include shipping and handling costs before you make the final decision to purchase an item
- How will your information be used and will it be shared with others?
- Look for seals of approval that confirm the credibility of the company and its website
- BBB On-line (the Better Business Bureau)
- WebTrust (from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants)
- the Canadian Marketing Association
- Check the vendor with these organizations.
- Never give away your credit card number or other confidential information without making sure your connection is secure. Check for a closed lock (see picture) or unbroken key at the lower right hand corner of your browser (screen)
- A secure connection will begin with https:// instead of http:// (look for the "s")
- Click on the lock icon to check the digital certificate.
- The name on there should match the company site you're visiting.
- Check what the policy is regarding returns, complaints and warranties
- Keep records of your online transactions
- check your e-mail for information from a vendor regarding your purchase
- Review your credit card and bank account statements every month to check for errors or unauthorized purchases.
It only takes a few minutes to protect yourself so be sure and be safe.
This is the season when you cannot find enough time to do everything so, I am going to keep the next few tips fast and frequent.
Avoiding the Phishers
Phishing is fraudulent e-mail that tries to dupe recipients into providing their personal and financial information, such as credit card numbers or online banking passwords. We'll talk about that tomorrow.
As always, should you have any questions about your computer, do not hesitate in picking up the phone or writing... better to contact me and be sure.
Tom @ Tata Computers