4) “S” stands for Safe(r)

Browsing a Web site
for offers is one thing. Actually buying merchandise is another matter entirely. Online transactions should be carried out securely, using encryption to scramble
the sensitive financial data you’re sending to the merchant’s Web site and that they’re sending to you. Before
entering your credit card information or clicking on “Send,” check to
make sure the e-commerce site you’re using has employed encryption, with a URL
that begins with “https://” indicating that SSL (Secure Sockets
Layer) encryption is being used.

Browsing a Web site
for offers is one thing. Actually buying merchandise is another matter entirely. Online transactions should be carried out securely, using encryption to scramble
the sensitive financial data you’re sending to the merchant’s Web site and that they’re sending to you. Before
entering your credit card information or clicking on “Send,” check to
make sure the e-commerce site you’re using has employed encryption, with a URL
that begins with “https://” indicating that SSL (Secure Sockets
Layer) encryption is being used.  The site should
also be using a valid SSL certificate signed by a reputable certificate
authority such as VeriSign. Expired or inconsistent SSL certificate information
should be a major league red flag that has you scrambling to a different site.
Of course, SSL is no cure-all, especially if your machine has been infected by a key logging trojan or other data-stealing malware. Make sure you have anti virus software installed and updated with the latest virus signatures, then do a thorough virus scan of the machine you’re planning to use prior to beginning your online shopping.

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