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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity

Safely Purchasing Online

Freshness - Look for the last updated date and for the most recent additions.  A corporate website might have a special section for newsworthy events.  If there is nothing new, it could mean the company has vanished.

Completeness - Is everything offered on the site available?  Do all of their links work?  Is any information missing such as return and exchange policies?

Privacy Policy - Is it displayed prominently?  How will they use purchaser information?  Will they share it with others or use it for marketing purposes?

For many browsers, one clue regarding the security of a web page is the picture of a padlock at the bottom of the window.  If the lock is closed, then the site is using security.  Otherwise, if the lock is open, the site is unsecured.  Another indicator of a secured site is that the address starts with https instead of the usual http.

Always look for the clues the Internet browser reveals regarding the security level of the current web page.  If filling out a form that includes personal or financial information, make sure that the lock icon is locked or that the site address starts with https instead of http.

When using an unsecured web page, it is important to remember anything that is typed is visible to anyone who may be looking.  There is no encryption, so make sure nothing is entered that needs to remain private.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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