Savvy Online Shopping

U.S. e-commerce sales rose to $289 billion in 2012, up from $256 billion the prior year, according to online statistics portal Statista. However, despite many benefits, online shopping can be fraught with risk.

Shop ‘til you drop, but first take this quiz to help avoid leaving behind a trail of digital vulnerability.

Step 1
  1. Before you purchase from unfamiliar websites, do you research them at the Better Business Bureau?

  2. If shopping sites ask you to register, do you create passwords different from the ones used on home or work computers?

  3. When bidding for items on auction, do you first review warranty and refund policies?

  4. Do you think all forms of payment (debit cards, credit cards, check, money order) are equally safe and protected?

Step 2
  1. Do you make online purchases over public Wi-Fi ?

  2. Would you trust a website if the URL for its payment page did not contain the letter “s” in “https,” or if a closed padlock icon was not displayed on the address bar?

  3. Do you email personal/financial information to stores?


Step 3
  1. If merchants or solicitors emailed you an executable (.exe) file, would you open it?

  2. Do you keep printed copies of your purchase record and the seller’s name, address and telephone number?

  3. After shopping online, do you leave your computer running the remainder of the day?

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