Love to shop? How to do it online safely and securely

(NC)-The Internet is always open and available for your every shopping need. You can purchase that piece of jewelry, shirt or book, to name a few, whenever you want – day or night. Buying goods over the Internet can be a great convenience, but how can you ensure your personal information remains safe and secure? Here are a few tips to safeguard your information and make your online shopping experience a good one:

Shop with well-known companies: Anyone can set up shop online. Stick with the companies and brands you recognize.

Guard your passwords: We all know passwords shouldn’t be based on personal information like your telephone number, birthday or home address. Mix it up, using lower and uppercase letters and numbers and don’t disclose them to anyone.

Solicitation e-mails: Be suspicious of e-mails asking you for your password information, account details, birth date and other personal details. The only personal information you should ever need to provide for an online purchase is your credit card number.

Locate an online privacy policy: A reputable company should post its shipping address and privacy licy on its web site and should disclose what information is being collected and for what purpose. Some sites give you the choice to opt out of having your personal information used for marketing purposes or shared with other companies.

Purchase from secure sites: Verify the sites you’re visiting possess security technology to keep information safe. Look for an icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or on the status bar. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology should be a vital piece of security technology for any site with an e-commerce component. This technology encrypts credit card information sent over the Internet. If the site doesn’t tell you it’s using this technology, check to see if the page asking for your credit card information begins with “https” – this shows SSL technology is in place. Look for the VeriSign Secure Site Seal from Soltrus ( when you’re shopping. When you click on the Seal, it should tell you in real-time that the SSL certificate securing this site is valid.

– News Canada