Secure Online Shopping: How to Protect Yourself from Online Fraud this Holiday Season

November 18, 2010

BOULDER Colo., Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — There’s no question that online shopping is convenient, especially around the holidays. And with special offers, like free shipping and online coupons – plus the option to shop wherever you are, even in the airport on the way to Mom’s – it’s no wonder more and more people are going online to shop for holiday gifts.

In fact, 55 percent of holiday shoppers plan to buy at least half of their gifts online this year – up from 38 percent of gift-buyers last year, according to a recent survey from Internet security provider Webroot. But in the age of viruses, keyloggers and spyware, how can you know your online shopping experience is secure?

The good news is, you can protect yourself.

You can start by look for “https” in the address bar and a padlock icon in the browser Status Bar. But that won’t protect you from malware and viruses that have already been installed on your computer which are laying dormant. To protect yourself from those “bad guys” install high-quality, updatable antivirus software – and make sure you are practicing good online habits.

Choosing Antivirus Software

When it comes to PC protection, there’s no substitute for good antivirus software. One to consider is Webroot® Antivirus with Spy Sweeper, which includes:

  • Multi-layered security protection against a broad range of security threats including viruses, spyware, adware, worms, pop-ups, Trojans, keyloggers and rootkits.
  • Proactive real-time virus protection.
  • Privacy and PC protection by blocking programs from gathering your personal information including logins, passwords and credit card information.
  • Email security that ensures your inbound and outbound email has not been “hijacked” by hackers – and that email attachments are free of hidden viruses and spyware.

Suspicion, for Safety’s Sake

While you don’t want to take your suspicions so far that you don’t feel comfortable making online purchases, a hint of suspicion, especially when it comes to managing your email accounts and giving out your credit card numbers, can go a long way in helping you avoid online fraud. So, as you’re shopping for gifts this holiday season, keep these tips in mind:

  • Type a store’s Web address directly into your browser instead of using a search engine to retrieve it. Cybercriminals plant malicious links that look like popular sites within the first few pages of search results.
  • Do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited requests, even if the request is made from what seems like a legitimate company you’ve done business with.
  • Only provide personal information on sites that have “https” in the web address or have a lock icon at bottom of the browser.
  • Use varied and complex passwords for all your accounts, including your online shopping accounts.
  • Continually check the accuracy of personal accounts and immediately deal with any discrepancies.

For more information about PC protection, antivirus software and ways to avoid online fraud, visit Webroot.com.

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SOURCE Webroot

Source: newswire

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