Attorney General Koster offers tips for safe online holiday shopping

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that as more and more people are turning to the Internet to do their holiday shopping in addition to malls and local retail outlets, his office has compiled suggestions to help make sure you don’t become a victim of computer fraud or identity theft.
“Many consumers are logging on to their computers to take advantage of the multitude of products and services that are marketed and sold online,” Koster said.  “Our office has put together some suggestions to help ensure your shopping transactions are safe and that you don’t become a victim of fraud or identity theft.”

  • Update your computer’s anti-virus software - One of the threats in online shopping is acquiring virus and malware from unscrupulous websites.  Make sure your computer's anti-virus software is updated to ensure that it screens all modern viruses that may be obtained from some websites.
  • Use websites with URLs starting with “https://” - This indicates the website has a secured connection, which is critical when you are entering credit card and other personal information.
  • Use a secured online payment system - Paypal is an example of a secured online payment system that can ensure safety in doing transactions on the web.  Using a secured payment system, you will no longer have to worry about credit card security and other hidden charges that can be incurred through scams.
  • Use highly secured passwords - Some people may try to gain access to your online accounts based on the information you give.  Some people use birthdays or other information as passwords for easy recall.  Make sure you use highly secured passwords (a combination of letters, numbers, and characters is best) in your accounts to prevent hacking.
  • Keep copies of receipts, confirmation numbers, and delivery status - This information is vital in keeping track of your transactions.  Make sure that you have proof of all your purchases.


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