EDS' eight security tips for shopping online this holiday season
PLANO, Texas, Nov. 19 /CNW/ -- Rising gas prices, a soft economy and
sheer convenience will attract a record number of Santa's helpers to online
retailers this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation's
2007 Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, consumers plan to do more than 30
percent of their holiday shopping online.
As more people do their holiday shopping online, the risk of the Grinch
stealing holiday cheer -- and identities -- is at an all-time high. Last year,
the Federal Trade Commission reported more than 674,000 victims of identity
theft and fraud totaling an estimated $1.1 billion in losses --
Internet-related complaints accounted for nearly half.(i)
"The online world can be a dangerous place and online shoppers need to be
more vigilant than ever," said Dave Morrow, EDS chief security and privacy
officer. "There are an overwhelming number of good, decent retailers mixed in
with a few bad ones, so it's important online shoppers take the proper
precautions to shop wisely and protect their personal information."
EDS security and privacy experts have identified EDS' eight tips for
jolly and worry-free online shopping:
1. Know the online merchant. It is always best to know the reputation of
the companies you choose to do business with. If you are not familiar
with the online retailer, be sure to check the Web site for contact
details, including a physical address and phone number. Also, look to
see if the site is a member of a trust mark or trust seal program.
This certifies the business meets certain business standards set in
place by the program.
2. Ensure you are shopping at a secure Web site. A secure Web site uses
encryption technology to scramble the information you send, such as
your credit card number, in order to prevent identity thieves from
gaining access to it as it travels through the Internet. Secure Web
site addresses also include "https://" at the beginning of the address
-- the "s" indicates the Web site is secure. Also, look for a closed
padlock displayed in your browser's toolbar or on at the bottom of
your screen. If the lock is open or not present, this may be a sign
that the site is not secure. Even on a secure site, do not send any
more financial information than is necessary to complete the
transaction. Always keep a paper copy of the transaction for your
3. Review privacy and security policies for the companies you do business
with online. All reputable companies post a privacy and security
policy or statement on their Web site. This should tell you what
information the company collects, how it is used and what is shared.
If you are concerned about your information being shared with other
companies, make sure there is an option to keep your information
4. Be proactive in protecting your security. Install commonly available
security tools such as anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and
a personal firewall. These programs and the computer's operating
system must be maintained with the most recent patches or updates.
Probably the most common -- and most easily remedied -- security
problem in home computers is out-of-date software.
5. Do not use personal information for passwords. Using information such
as Social Security numbers, birth dates, names, common words, e-mail
addresses or telephone numbers as passwords can make you an easy
target. Be sure your passwords contain at least eight characters and
include numbers or symbols. To avoid misuse, do not write down
6. Monitor online activity regularly. If you conduct business online,
review your account statements regularly and consider using a separate
credit card for online purchases or payments to ensure all
transactions are in order. By reviewing online statements,
transactions and your credit report frequently, you could detect a
theft and limit its damage. Identity thieves typically use stolen
information for only a short period of time to avoid being caught. If
you suspect a security breach, act quickly by contacting the companies
you do business with immediately. The Federal Trade Commission's
identity theft Web site
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html is a great
resource for information on identity theft, including advice and
guidance if your identity is stolen.
7. Be aware that international security and privacy standards may be
different. When you shop in the United States, you are protected by
state and federal consumer laws. These laws may not apply if you place
an order internationally. If it is not a reputable merchant and there
is a problem, it may be difficult for you to resolve the issue. You
should print out and date a copy of terms, conditions, warranties,
item description, company information and even confirming e-mails, and
save them with the records of your purchase. Also, look at your
purchase as soon as you receive it and contact the seller as soon as
possible if you discover a problem.
8. Beware of "phishing" e-mails that appear to be from trusted merchants.
Phishing is one of the fastest-growing forms of online fraud for
identity thieves. Phishing e-mails appear legitimate, often addressing
you by name, which makes them even more convincing. Thieves sending
these e-mails usually ask you to click on a link in the email that
takes you to a phony Web site -- if you are interested, it is best to
go to the site yourself by typing the Web site name directly into your
browser rather than clicking on the link provided in the e-mail. A
skeptical attitude toward unsolicited e-mails is always the best
policy, especially if you have never done business with a company
before receiving an e-mail solicitation from it.
EDS (NYSE: EDS) is a leading global technology services company
delivering business solutions to its clients. EDS founded the information
technology outsourcing industry 45 years ago. Today, EDS delivers a broad
portfolio of information technology and business process outsourcing services
to clients in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare,
communications, energy, transportation, and consumer and retail industries and
to governments around the world. Learn more at http://eds.com.
(i) Federal Trade Commission Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint
Data, January - - December 2006. February 2007.
Julie Basa -- - - EDS
972 605 1862
For further information:
For further information: Julie Basa of EDS, +1-972-605-1862,
firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: http://www.eds.com