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Shop safely online

Online shopping is convenient, easy, and quick. But before you start adding items to your cart, make sure you are up-to-date and have the latest security software, web browsers and operating system.

Keeping a clean machine is the best defence against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Here are some tips to ensure your online shopping is safe:
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. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com) 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 information.
Look for the lock. Never ever buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with https://(instead of just https://). 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.
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 and debit card. Make sure you don’t see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. 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.

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