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EarthLink Offers Internet Tips for Secure and Cost Effective Online Shopping

November 13, 2008

ATLANTA, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ — More and more, Americans are finding online shopping a safe, convenient and economical way to shop. In the spirit of this holiday season, EarthLink, a leading Internet service provider, is offering tips to consumers so they can enjoy the speed, convenience and security that online shopping offers.

“We believe that more Americans will shop online during this holiday season than ever before,” said Kevin Brand, EarthLink’s senior vice president of product management. “Shopping online continues to be a safe and enjoyable experience, and we predict more people will be buying online this season because of the tremendous cost benefits.” (http://www.earthlink.net/)

It All Starts With Internet Access

Having a solid Internet connection from a company you trust is critical to product ordering, as well as entering your credit card and other personal information. A reliable dial-up connection (http://www.earthlink.net/access/dialup.faces) will do, though a high-speed Internet service like Freestanding DSL (http://www.earthlink.net/access/dsl_freestanding.faces) , DSL (http://www.earthlink.net/access/dsl.faces) or cable Internet (http://www.earthlink.net/access/cable.faces) will speed up your shopping considerably. EarthLink offers a full range of Internet access services nationwide available at http://www.earthlink.net/. EarthLink also offers its members a free integrated suite of protection and security features with their Protection Control Center (http://www.earthlink.net/software/staysafe.faces?tab=pcc).

Savvy Shopping

When looking for the best deals, start with a site that lets you compare prices for a wide variety of merchandise. EarthLink offers an easy price comparison tool on its my.EarthLink.net Start Page – http://my.earthlink.net/, as well as access to a host of ecommerce partners like Amazon, Expedia and eBay.

Pay the Smart Way

When you’re shopping online, a credit card is essential. For added security, some card issuers allow you to set up additional safeguards to protect you while paying for goods online, such as temporary “virtual” account numbers.

Encryption is Your Friend

Any shopping site worthy of your business uses a technology called Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, to encrypt (i.e., scramble) personal information.

There are two ways to tell whether the Web page you’re viewing uses SSL – (1) the address of any page that asks for your credit card number or other sensitive information should begin with https:/// (2) look for a closed padlock icon within your browser window.

Know Your (Liability) Limits

A smart shopper knows the law when it comes to credit and check/debit card fraud.

Make sure you understand your card’s fraud liability policy, which can be found on your credit card’s company website.

There are also U.S. federal laws that limit your liability for fraudulent charges on credit and check/debit cards, for details visit http://www.ftc.gov/.

Watch for the Scam

Finally, watch for online scams. Don’t automatically assume retailer emails are legitimate; rather type the store’s Web address directly into your browser.

EarthLink offers a free Toolbar (http://www.earthlink.net/software/domore.faces?tab=toolbar) to all Internet users that provide security and blocking tools to help protect you from Internet scams and guard information you want to remain private.

Happy Shopping!

EarthLink

CONTACT: Chris Marshall, +1-404-748-6217, marshallch@corp.earthlink.net

Web Site: http://my.earthlink.net/http://www.earthlink.net/




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