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Guidelines For Safe Online Shopping This Season

Ron Teixeira, executive director of the NCSA said that they, in partnership with the NCL this year, would like to remind consumers to adopt simple security steps to keep themselves safe from cyber crime so that they can enjoy the holidays.

The two joint organizations urged consumers to deal with reputable merchants in addition to securing their computers. The Internet is known to have individuals who exploit it through their criminal behavior and other damaging acts. These criminals try to gain illegal access of innocent users' computers to steal the latter's identity, commit fraud and even convert them to 'botnets' to perform attacks against others. If consumers follow the recommended 'cyber security practices', then they can curtail the injury cyber crooks can do not only to their PCs but also to others'. The 'National Cyber Security Alliance' has outlined these 'Cyber Security Practices' as practical steps for consumers to stay safe on the Internet and prevent becoming a prey to fraud, identity theft, or other online attacks.

The first and most important security step that consumers should take is never to declare their Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts or credit card numbers, or other personal details that cyber criminals could otherwise use. Secondly, they must store their passwords in a safe place and out of easy view. They must avoid sharing passwords on the Net, over e-mail or on the phone. As a rule, 'Internet Service Providers' never ask for consumers' passwords.

According to Susan Grant, director of the NCL's 'National Fraud Information Center', users can post their personal and financial information only when they know whom they are dealing with. These guidelines are very important for secure and happy online shopping.

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