Online Security Rules
10 Ways to
Protect Your Computer with Online Security Rules
When surfing online, it's important to take certain steps to protect
your computer and your private and personal information and data. In this article we suggest online security rules
of the road - ten ways to protect your computer.
A reliable and safe
internet browser is one of the essentials for online
In 2004, online consumer spending was at a record $65.1 billion. More and more
people are attracted to the ease of online shopping and are spending higher amounts.
Unfortunately, the chances of becoming a victim of Internet fraud are also
increasing. The Internet National Fraud Center Watch reported that the average loss to fraud victims for just the
first six months of 2005 was $2,579. This is compared to the $895 average for all of 2004.
Complaints relating to general merchandise purchases (goods never received or
misrepresented) accounted for 30% of Internet fraud complaints, and auction purchases (goods never received or
misrepresented) topped the list at 44%.
With increasing online threats, it's important to
follow good online security rules
and protect your computer and your personal data from online security
Ten Online Security
While many e-commerce Websites are reputable and have taken the necessary safety
precautions to protect you privacy, it never hurts to always proceed cautiously. If you are making an online
purchase consider these easy steps:
Use low-limit credit card for online purchases
Use only one credit card, preferably with a low credit limit, when making online
purchases. Avoid using an ATM or debit card - if your card number gets stolen, you could end up with an empty
Keep away from unsolicited offers
Be wary of unsolicited offers by online sellers. The Internet National Fraud
Information Center Watch reported that email, as a method of contact by Internet scammers was up 22% in 2004. While
the offer may be legitimate, spammers like to use this tactic to side-step reputable sites that provide consumer
protection for online purchases.
Deal only with reputable websites
Use only reputable e-commerce websites that list a street address and telephone
number in case you need to contact them directly.
Only subscribe to opt-in/opt-out websites
sell/give your information to a third party. Check the document to see if they allow an opportunity to "opt-out" of
receiving special offers from third-party vendors or for permission to share your personal information.
Make your online purchases via secure servers
Check for a lock symbol in the status bar at the bottom of your Web browser
window. Also, do not provide your personal information if the website address doesn’t start with "https" (a sign
that the site is using a secure server).
Choose only verified sellers
Check to see if the vendor is a verified member of a reputable third party such as
the Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, or Guardian eCommerce. These third-party sites help to ensure online
consumers will be protected when shopping or conducting e-commerce transactions.
Check that the delivery date posted is reasonable
If you have not dealt with the vendor on a regular basis, be wary of any Website
that states the shipment will be delayed 20 or more days. Delivery dates of 7-10 days are more common.
Keep a paper trail of all online transactions
Print out a hard copy of the transaction and keep it in a file for future
If it's too good to be true, then it probably is
Be wary of website offers that just sound too good to be true. The Internet is
littered with get rich quick scams and false advertising claims. Investigate all claims thoroughly before
Report any problems to Consumer Affairs agency
If you do not receive what you paid for, and the vendor will not return your
emails or calls, contact your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs for further assistance.
There are of course more ways and methods for protecting your computer and your
personal data. But the above 10 suggested ways will be a good start and should give you further ideas on how to
take additional steps to protect yourself online.
For more suggestions, see our next, Security