By P.Hopkins (1 of 2)
Internet shopping has increased ten-fold and goes on climbing in popularity, but unless you buy from the likes of amazon or ebuyer, you never really know if the sites are safe or not.
You computer needs the right software to protect itself, and you kneed the right knowledge to protect you and the computer.
If you don't have a firewall or Anti-virus then read the NetWise article and come back here Afterwards. If you use a wifi router you have some protection if it has built in firewall, most routers have firewall's and other security options we will address later.
Protecting your credit card when internet shopping
PayPal is one of the best ways to protect your credit card on the internet because sellers only see your paypal payment link but no card details. If you're not registered with them you should register a card with them.
Its best to have a credit card that's only used for internet shopping, and to set its credit limit to about £100 more than your average monthly spend. This way only a small amount can be clocked up by criminals should they get your card details.
You should install a key scrambler to scramble your key strokes when shopping on the net, this way key loggers that might get on your system can't record credit card numbers or any passwords you type.
Don't buy from websites that don't have SSL running. This is a secure data transfer protocol. You can tell if a website is secure by looking for a padlock by the address bar or on the status bar bottom of web browser. Also the Website address should begin with https:// if you can only see http:// then your not on the payment section, or website is not secure.
Spy before you Buy
Look at the website you want to buy from, google for their name and filter it for customer complaints. (type the companies name then a space then 'AND reviews+complaints') then click search button.
Do the same for the product you want to buy, making sure its worth buying or doesn't have a design fault.
Some credit card companies offer special services for internet transactions so check your cards terms and conditions to see how much extra protection or choices with claims issues you may have available.
Places like ebay or bidforit, are constantly being invaded by sellers dealing in counterfit and sometimes repackaged goods. If your buying a microsoft product, goto www.microsoft.com/counterfit and learn how to detect bad goods and the tricks used.
Always use paypal were possible on auction sites because you have buyers rights which if over £100 they will investigate on your behalf when you dispute a payment.
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