There no easier way to buy gifts than online, right? Well, according to this News.com story, if you dont take prudent steps while eshopping, bad things could happen: "Holiday shoppers, beware."
Check out what the CEO of home networking company Sereniti offers as practical tips for shopping online:
Print copies of all online receipts so that they can be checked against credit card bills.
Print copies of all guarantees and warranties.
Do not respond to e-mails asking customers for personal information. Businesses and financial institutions rarely reach out on their own seeking such information. It is better to contact a business directly on your own.
Online retailers that display Truste and Better Business Bureau seals likely are to be trusted to safeguard personal information.
Note whether Web sites begin with "https" instead of "http" in the browser area and whether they display a padlock icon in the lower right-hand border of the browser window, as this indicates secure encryption to protect customer identities.
If possible, avoid providing Social Security numbers online.
Make sure that online retailers have solid privacy polices that make clear their customers' information will not be sold or transferred after a transaction occurs.
Please take a moment to post your own suggestions for securing the online shopping experience. You can either post your suggestions as a comment to this blog or to the article's discussion thread.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.