Thứ Hai, ngày 22 tháng 4 năm 2013

5 Tips You Have to Know When Go Shopping Online

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Let's face it, there's every reason in the world to shop online. The bargains are there. The selection is mind-boggling. The shopping is secure. Shipping is fast. Even returns are pretty easy, with the right e-tailers. Shopping has never been easier or more convenient for consumers.

But what about the bad guys who lay in wait? IID's Third Quarter eCrime Report for 2011 indicates that use of phishing attacks (where thieves attempt to swindle you out of your sign-in credentials and even credit card info by pretending to be a real website, or even an online bank) is down, as much as eight percent since the second quarter and 11 percent since the third quarter of last year. That's great news—except the same report says sites with malware (malicious code aimed at compromising your privacy) has increased by 89 percent since the second quarter.

Stay calm. While somewhat alarming, these stats should not keep you from shopping online. You simply need some common sense and practical advice. Follow these basic guidelines and you can shop online with confidence. Here are 11 tips for staying safe online, so you can start checking off items on that holiday shopping list.

1. Use Familiar Websites
Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. If you know the site, chances are it's less likely to be a rip off. We all know and that it carries everything under the sun; likewise, just about every major retail outlet has an online store, from Target to Best Buy to Home Depot. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example)—those are the oldest tricks in the book. Yes, the sales on these sites might look enticing, but that's how they trick you into giving up your info.

2. Look for the Lock
Never ever, ever buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You'll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.

Never, ever give anyone your credit card over email. Ever.

3. Don't Tell All
No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to do business. However, if crooks get them, combined with your credit card number for purchases, they can do a lot of damage. The more they know, the easier it is to steal your identity. When possible, default to giving up the least amount of information.

4. Check Statements
Don't wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don't see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. (After all, there's more than one way to get to your money.)

If you do see something wrong, pick up the phone to address the matter quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems, however; after that, you might be liable for the charges anyway.

5. Inoculate Your PC
Swindlers don't just sit around waiting for you to give them data; sometimes they give you a little something extra to help things along. You need to protect against malware with regular updates to your anti-virus program. PCMag recommends Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (4.5 stars, Editors' Choice, $39.95 direct), which has extras to help fight ID theft, or at the very least the free Ad-Aware Free Internet Security 9.0 (4.5 stars, Editors'
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Show to Shopping Online More Safely

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Doing your holiday shopping online is generally preferable to braving the season's frantic mall crowds, slow moving checkout lines and tiresome holiday background music. But don't get too relaxed. There are still some security precautions everyone should take before sharing payment information online.

Increasingly, people are using their smartphones and tablets for online shopping. There was a 190% in mobile purchases this year on Cyber Monday, and 193% jump on Black Friday, according to mobile payments company PayPal. The shift to mobile presents its own unique security challenges, including malware apps and text phishing scams.

Here are online shopping security tips to keep in mind all year round, on all your devices.

Check for "HTTPS"

Not all webpages are equally secure. Before entering any personal or payment information, make sure to look up at your browser bar. The URL should start with HTTPS, not HTTP. That one letter on the end, S, is the difference between a secure site and an unsecured site.

A secondary thing to look for is the small lock icon in your address bar. This lock indicates that you have an SSL (secure sockets layer) connection. The icon is standard for most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

On mobile devices, the address bar is tinier and easier to overlook. Do a little pinch-and-zoom to locate the S before sharing your payment information.

Watch your WiFi

Shopping from mobile devices means an increased chance you'll be on an unfamiliar WiFi network.

"Only window shop on public WiFi," recommends Derek Halliday, lead security product manager at Lookout, a mobile security company.

Avoid entering your credit card number or other private information when you're on an unsecured, public WiFi connection where people could snoop. Wait until you are back at home or work.

Vet the vendors and apps

The Internet is packed with stores, some reputable and others downright shady. While bargain hunting, it can be tempting to make your purchase from the site offering the lowest price, but take a moment to research any vendors you're not familiar with.

"If something seems to good to be true, it probably is," says Claudia Lombana, a PayPal shopping specialist.

Before you hand over your payment information, do a quick search for reviews of the vendor. Calculate the total cost of an item, including shipping and tax, when determining the lowest price.

The same tips apply when you're using a mobile app. Only download apps for your smartphones and tablets through official stores, like the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.

The occasional unsavory app has been known to slip through these proper channels. Always check the reviews in the app stores to see what other users have to say. If there are bunch of one star reviews or warnings, don't download the software. Another option is to download a mobile security app to scan new software and links.

Beware of phishing, SMiShing and other scams

By now most people know to keep an eye out for phishing scams -- e-mails disguised as legitimate companies or organizations that ask for payment or password information. But every now and then, one comes along that looks incredibly convincing. To be safe, copy and paste all links into a fresh browser window instead of clicking on the hyperlink, check the originating email address and when in doubt, contact the company to verify the e-mail.

SMiShing (a lovely portmanteau of "SMS" and "Phishing") has taken off recently, catching people off-guard who don't expect to receive this type of spam as a text message. Earlier this year, scammers sent texts telling people they had won a $1,000 gift card from Walmart. The texts linked to a page that asked for credit card information to cover the cost of shipping the prize.

As a general rule, legitimate companies will never ask for your private information over email or text message, including payment information, usernames, passwords, mother's maiden name or social security number.

Password protect mobile devices

This was the number one mobile tip from the experts we talked to: turn on the passcode on your phone or tablet.

It's an easy and important precaution, but only 54% of Americans do it. Yes, it will take a few more seconds to access your email or open an app, but smartphones often contain more valuable information than what's in your wallet.

"Many shopping apps archive your credit card information after your make a first purchase, and many apps don't require that you enter your password every time you use it," explained Halliday.

If your phone or tablet is lost or stolen, anyone can access the wealth of data you have stored on your device. Even if individual apps require passwords, someone can use your email and phone number to try and reset them.

Update often
Many operating system and application updates address security issues, plugging holes and fixing errors that could be exploited by hackers.

On your computer, update the operating system when prompted, and make sure you're running the latest version of your browser.

For mobile devices, the routine is easier because the apps come through a central app store. You can see exactly what mobile apps need updating at a glance.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card

Credit cards are a more secure online payment option than your debit card. The majority of credit cards offer purchase protection in case your card number is stolen, or if you make a payment at an online store that delivers a bad product, or no product at all.

We know you're very busy this time of year, but also take an extra moment to comb over your statements. Should any of these security precautions fail, you'll want to catch suspicious charges as soon as possible.
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Tips For Man When Go Shopping With Girlfriend

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Good news: You have a special lady in your life. You've gone from interesting strangers across the room to partners and lovers. Bad news: The only thing she likes more than going shopping is going shopping with you in tow. Each time, it's a trip to the store that turns into an adventure into the unknown that you, as a man, may be poorly built for.

Shopping can be terrifying; it’s her territory and her rules. It can be long and unpredictable. It’s like watching your team playing on different turf and with the weather against them. Shopping with her is a direct attack to your testosterone. Hours of diving into stores await you. Muscle-aching torture is ahead as your arms scream from bags being heaped upon them. And no matter how many times you've gone shopping with her, it's always torturous.

Dread no longer; it's possible to survive shopping with your girlfriend.

Know her shopping black holes
A black hole is a giant, dead star that devours time and space, letting nothing escape. Think about it; she has stores that do the same thing. You've experienced it -- hours of her walking the same aisles with no end in sight. You've shopped with her before, so draw on that gathered knowledge. Know what store you may need to bring a magazine to, know what store you can get some shopping done with her or just know when you’ll need extra patience. If you want to survive shopping with your girlfriend, you'll need to know her habits in the wilds.

Think about what shopping means to her
For men, shopping is just shopping. We go, we buy, we leave. However, for her, there’s a store or two that actually mean something to her. Maybe it relaxes her or takes her back to fond memories. Maybe it validates her success or relieves stress. This shopping could be special for her so don’t screw it up with obvious negativity. Consider it an honor to take her to her sanctuary, even if it has hundreds of others bustling in it.

Break the day up
Take in a run to the food court, check out an unknown store or suggest a mid-shopping movie. Whatever it is, try it and you'll be that much closer to being able to survive shopping with your girlfriend. By having fun while shopping, you turn it from a them-buying and you-waiting experience to both of you enjoying being out. Break up the constant barrage of shopping with mid-shopping relief. If it’s something that you know you'll both enjoy, she'll see it as less of an attack on her shopping and more of a good romantic idea.

Bring an iPod
Whether it’s an iPod, a Kindle or a portable TV, bring it if you need it. While you’re waiting outside the dressing room, you can be enjoying the game you’re missing or relaxing to your favorite tunes. Use whatever device you need to survive. However, remember not to ignore her for your portable distraction.
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