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Buying Online

Shopping and buying online has become very popular within the past few years. Not only is it convenient, but most websites even feature online exclusives, special shipping discounts and online-only sales. Of course, like with emails and internet banking, it also opens up another avenue for thieves to try and steal your personal and financial information. Before you make your next online purchase, exercise caution by following these smart online shopping tips:

  1. Buy only from companies you know.
  2. Pay by credit card or a third party intermediary, such as PayPal. Using a credit card gives you protection in the event of a dispute. With cash, checks or a debit card, you're on your own. A third party intermediary may also offer protection.
  3. If you find an item you want from a company you've never heard of or bought from before, check out the company with the Better Business Bureau. Visit www.bbb.org for an online reliability report on any company.
  4. Before you give out your payment information, ensure the site is secure. Look for an "S" in the URL after "HTTP" and a closed padlock in the bottom right of your browser. To ensure the padlock symbol is valid, double click it to view the certificate. The certificate should be registered to the company from which you're buying.
  5. If you get a message to re-authenticate your credit card data, contact the site directly and do not give out any personal information.

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