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Shopping safely in cyberspace l.jpg

Shopping Safely in Cyberspace

A CyberAngels Quick Tutorial

Adapted from the Federal Trade Commission Website

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Shopping OnlineAfter completing this tutorial, you will be able to:

  • Describe four (4) key risks associated with online shopping

  • Identify methods for shopping online safely

  • Describe the most effective ways to pay for goods online

  • Explain what you as a buyer can do, if you have a dispute with a vendor

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What is Shopping Online?

Shopping Online is generally a safe, convenient and enjoyable way to make purchases through your internet connection.

Shopping online is often a cost-effective means of purchasing both goods and services.

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Shopping Online

It is important however, to keep in mind, that cyberspace, like any other community poses certain traps for the un-weary.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how you can minimize these risks, then “shop til you drop”, safely and with ease.

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Shopping Online - Four Key Risks

  • Purchasing goods with an ATM/debit card

  • Using easily guessed passwords

  • Paying for goods/services with personal checks

  • Failing to comparison shop

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What Can You Do?

  • Use a credit card, not a debit/ATM. Banks provide better protection to credit-card holders.

  • Create passwords that others could not easily figure out. Avoid commonly used words, family names, etc.

  • Avoid paying by check online.

  • Before you purchase online check out other websites that may sell similar items.

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Tips for Shopping Online Safely

  • Create a separate PayPal Account for Online PayPal is a payment processing service that allows online vendors to securely, easily and quickly send and receive payments online. www.paypal.com

  • Avoid giving your social security number out over the phone or via e-mail

  • Understand the warranties, return and refund policies before making purchases

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Tips for Shopping Online Safely

  • Be sure the website you are shopping on uses secure sockets layering (SSL). Look for https or sttps in the address bar of the website. For example: https://www.amazon.com/

  • Ask your credit card issuer about single-issuer credit cards.

  • Calculate taxes and shipping that may be imposed at check-out.

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More Tips for Shopping Online Safely

  • Research complaints records with the Better Business Bureau or your local consumer protection agency

  • Keep print-outs of all of your transactions: you may need them if there is a dispute about a purchase. Select “print” on the file menu of your browser to do this.

  • Look for sellers that encourage good business practices.

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To File A Complaint:

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau- Online at www.bbbonline.com

  • The Federal Trade Commission at 202-382-4357

  • National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060

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Try the Online Shopping Quiz

Start Quiz

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1. What is the best way to make a purchase online?

  • Use an ATM debit card

  • Mail cash to the vendor

  • Use a credit card or PayPal account

  • All of the above

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The correct answer is: C . Use a credit card or PayPal account

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How can you tell a website has appropriate security measures?

  • The website contains graphics and text.

  • The website’s address bar shows https or sttps and a lock icon appears in the lower right hand side of the window.

  • The website is well known

  • All of the above

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The correct answer is: B. The website’s address bar shows https or sttps and a lock icon appears in the lower right hand side of the window.

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3. Before you buy, you should:

  • Comparison shop other websites that may carry similar goods.

  • Check to see if there are records of complaints on file with the BBB

  • Review warranty, refund and return policies

  • All of the Above

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The correct answer is: D. All of the Above

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4.If you wish to file a complaint regarding an online vendor :

  • Commiserate with a friend first

  • Contact the BBB or your local consumer protection agency

  • Call the Fair Trade Commission

  • B. and C.

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The correct answer is: D . B. and C. (call the FTC and the BBB)

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Thank You For Taking the Safe Shopping Quiz.May your online shopping experiences be both fun and safe!

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