CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Online Shopping Caution

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, December 8, 2005

Lots of people are doing their holiday shopping online. How can you make it safer? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Millions of people are doing more and more of their shopping over the Internet. Many others are still reluctant. At VeriSign, the main manager of the Internet address database, group manager Tim Callan says some fears are legit…especially with all of the phishing scams out there. Those are usually email efforts to trick people into disclosing bank account or credit card numbers….

"And phishing has really come into its own as an important threat in the past year or a little over a year…since about spring of 2004. It's really emerged very dramatically."

The advice…if you get an email that purports to be from your bank or credit card company….don't reply. Pick up the phone and make a call. And when it comes to shopping, only enter your credit card information on sites that provide security. How do you know?

"All popular browsers have a little padlock icon that appears. And that padlock icon indicates that you're in an SSL encrypted session. And a huge quantity of them, over 55 thousand of them, display the VeriSign Secured seal. And the VeriSign Secured seal is a check mark and a red circle and it says VeriSign Secured next to it."

When shopping online…another piece of advice from Callan…use your instincts. If an offer seems to good to be true… well, you know the rest. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.