The Willis Report: Online shopping privacy pitfalls - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

The Willis Report: Online shopping privacy pitfalls

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network


I couldn't blame you if you decided to do all of your holiday shopping online this year. After all, fighting the crowds seems a lot worse fate than wrestling the mouse. But the reality is this: There are pitfalls to online shopping as well and the most pernicious are not obvious.  This is the time of year that  thieves are out in force, hoping that you make a mistake so they can sell you counterfeit goods, steal your credit card number or even your identity.
        
Here's what you need to know to avoid the downsides of online shopping:

1.  Don't rely on your own powers of observation to determine whether a website is shady or not. There was a time when you could spot fakers because the sites were loaded with bad spelling and grammar. Not anymore.  Consumer Reports' Tod Marks says it is almost impossible to determine whether a site is legit or not by just looking at it. Instead, make sure that the url contains "https:" that "s" stands for secure. Check our retailer ratings at Better Business Bureau, where you can also find consumer complaints and reviews. It doesn't hurt to stick with retailers you already know, and avoid obscure vendors. And, by the way, pay by credit card rather than debit card. That way, if there is a problem with merchandise, you can get your money back.

2.  Watch out for the shyster moves. The fine print is what can get you online. Watch out for sites that say you can't return defective items. That means the sites are revoking an implied warranty that is acknowledged in many states. If you are buying a high end item make sure that the site is an authorized dealer for the goods by reading the terms and conditions on line.

3.  Check out the online privacy policy. Many retailers give you the option to opt into special offers or promotions. My suggestion  is to limit the information you provide to what is needed to actually make the purchase. I prefer dealing with retailers who allow me to decide whether they can share my information with others.

Ultimately, it looks like the majority of us will spend some time online shopping for holiday gifts. My suggestion: Don't allow the pressure of getting that last minute gift compromise your security.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

    AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:03 AM EDT2014-07-23 06:03:45 GMT
    A law enforcement official and online marketplace StubHub say cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events.
    Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said.
  • China detains employees of seller of suspect meat

    China detains employees of seller of suspect meat

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:03 AM EDT2014-07-23 06:03:43 GMT
    McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.
    Five employees of a company accused of selling expired beef and chicken to McDonald's, KFC and other restaurants were detained by police Wednesday after an official said illegal activity was an organized effort by the...
  • SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds

    SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:10 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:10:56 GMT
    Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry - the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds - at least for some money funds used by big investors.
    Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry - the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds - at least for some money funds used by big investors.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices