Online Safety

Before you create an online account, shop, or enter any personal information on a website, check for signs that the organization and the site are secure and trustworthy.

LOOK FOR SECURITY INDICATORS.  The “https” at the beginning of the Web address indicates the page uses a secure form of encryption to protect the information you enter.  Most browsers use other security indicators like a symbol, such as a padlock, and/or a color change.  Learn how your browser reports website security levels.  (Be aware that indicators aren’t foolproof.)

LEARN ABOUT WHOM YOU’RE DEALING WITH.  Do some research before buying from a seller for the first time.  Investigate businesses at the Better Business Bureau’s site or through an online search.  Read reviews.  Confirm the business or seller’s physical address and phone number.  Legitimate entities provide this so you can contact them with problems.

READ THE PRIVACY POLICY.  Understand what personal information the site collects, how it’s used, and if it’s shared.  Learn what security measures are used to protect your information.

RESEARCH SOME MORE.  Read through return, refund, or shipping policies, terms of use, and other information provided about the establishment, its site, and how it conducts online business.

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