eBay Shares Tips on Online Shopping Safety

    With the holidays approaching, Canadian online buyers should buy smartly

    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and
holiday shopping season is just around the corner. No company knows as much
about online trust and safety as eBay Canada. Just as consumers should take
measures to protect themselves in conventional stores - not leaving a purse in
an unguarded shopping cart, protecting their personal identification number at
bank machines, not carrying large amounts of cash in their wallets - online
shoppers should also take sensible precautions.

    1.  Learn about the product and seller. The Internet is a great place for
        buyers to research products and companies they're interested in.
        Shoppers can also learn about a retailer through its reputation, from
        previous purchases, from referrals through friends or from reviews,
        comments and feedback left by other shoppers.

    2.  Before you buy, always read the item description carefully. It's
        always a good idea to look at the details of a specific item, as well
        as the shipping costs, payment methods accepted, and whether the
        seller offers a return policy.

    3.  Ask, then buy. If you have questions about the product, contact the
        store or seller before purchasing either via e-mail or customer
        service phone number. All listings on eBay include a link in the
        Seller Information box to the "Ask Seller a Question" feature. Using
        this feature is an easy way to make sure that all your questions are
        answered before you buy.

    4.  Understand the retailer's refund and return policies. Questions to
        ask include: What's the required timeframe in which a buyer must
        contact the retailer and return the item? Will a full refund or a
        merchandise credit be offered? Can an item that has been opened be

    5.  Pay safely online. Never use instant cash transfer services to pay
        for your online purchase. These payment methods are unsafe when
        paying someone you do not know.

    6.  Protect your purchase. Programs like PayPal Buyer Protection provide
        free coverage of up to C$315 on all PayPal transactions and up to
        C$2,000 when you buy from qualified sellers. eBay even has a $25,000
        Vehicle Protection Plan when purchasing a car online.

    7.  Be wary of spoof e-mails and web sites. Claiming to be sent by a
        well-known company, spoof email directs users to web sites asking for
        personal information such as a credit card number, social insurance
        number or account password.

    8.  If an offer sounds highly suspicious or too good to be true, it
        probably is. While Internet retailers frequently offer lower prices
        than conventional stores, shoppers should be guarded about
        unreasonably low bargain prices or unusually attractive promises.

    9.  Use strong and unique passwords. Good, strong passwords include a
        combination of letters and numbers, and are unique to the account.
        Just as you wouldn't use the same key for your car, your office and
        your house, unique passwords are an important preventative step in
        the event someone obtains one of your passwords.

    10. Stay safe online by safeguarding your computer against viruses. There
        are numerous viruses in circulation that threaten to damage your
        computer or spy on your Internet activities. While there is no
        foolproof way to protect your computer, you can minimize your risk by
        installing virus protection software.

For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Erin
Sufrin, eBay Canada, esufrin@ebay.com, (416) 969-2291; Karla Briones,
Environics Communications, kbriones@environicspr.com, (416) 969-2755

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