Increased online shopping threats requires greater caution

| December 18, 2014 | 2 Comments

B1_Online_Shopping

Nathan Pfau
Army News Service
FORT RUCKER, Ala. — While those who braved the crowds of Black Friday probably took steps to ensure their physical safety and avoid being trampled by mobs for a special deal, those who go online to find deals in the digital world are advised to look just as carefully at their online safety, according to Directorate of Public Safety officials.

If shoppers aren’t careful, their online dreams could quickly become a nightmare if they don’t make sure to stay safe while shopping online, said Peggy Contreras, Community Police supervisor for Fort Rucker’s DPS.

“People need to make sure that they are shopping on a secure website,” she said.

Seek Online Protected Sites
Look for a little lock pad in the URL that tells them that the website is secure, and if they have any questions about the site, they should call the site directly and ask questions, or do whatever they can to verify that the site is reliable.

Most reputable websites will secure their websites with encryption, especially when dealing with financial information like credit card numbers or bank information. Encrypted websites will start with “https” at the beginning of the web address — the “s” at the end of “http” stands for “secure,” according to the Federal Trade Commission website, ftc.gov/idtheft.

The threat of identity theft is everywhere, but people can be more at risk while doing shopping online, said Contreras. If people do their shopping online, she suggests that the visit only websites that they have trusted in the past.

Spotting fraud
Be wary of misspelled words in emails and especially web addresses, which are usually telltale signs that the website is fraudulent. Also, never divulge personal information through email, phone or text messages, and especially avoid giving out Social Security numbers.

Another threat are online scammers who pretend to sell items that they don’t really have, Websites that people can buy directly from other people are usually done at their own risk, so avoid those entirely, if possible.

Although the threat of identity theft is out there, Contreras said that responsibility continues to fall on the individual to make sure they are protected, and that protection should also extend to their children.

“You don’t want to wait until they’re 16 or 18 to find out that they have something on their credit report, so make sure you check up on it while they’re young.”
(Editors note: Pfau is a staff writer for the “Army Flier”at Fort Rucker, Alabama.)

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Category: Community, Safety

Comments (2)

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  1. Walter Cooper says:

    Online shopping at times causes major threats and especially in this holiday season. Various threats are out there including Fake Invoices From Delivery Services, Credit card information theft and others. some more threats and solutions can be found here:

    http://www.purevpn.com/blog/online-shopping-safety-and-vpn/

  2. Beau says:

    I think what you published made a bunch of sense. However, consider this,
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    good., however suppose you added a title that makes people want more?
    I mean Increased online shopping threats requires greater caution :
    Hawaii Army Weekly is kinda plain. You might peek at Yahoo’s front page
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    You might try adding a video or a picture or two to grab people excited about everything’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it would bring your blog a little bit more interesting.

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