Delaware offers security tips for cyber-shoppers

Today is known as Cyber Monday, and as thousands of Delawareans are expected to look for bargains online the Delaware Department of Technology and Information offers tips on staying cyber-safe and secure.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reports that more than 800 Delawareans were victims of internet crimes in 2010, costing over $1.2-million.  DTI suggests that you secure your own computer prior to shopping online by making sure that anti-virus and spyware software is running and up to date.  Also, shop with trusted merchants and make sure any online transactions are secure.  Use a secure password that’s difficult to decode,with a mix of numbers, special characters and upper-and-lower case letters.  Be wary of unsolicited offers, and do not use public computers or public wireless to conduct transactions – criminals may be monitoring public wireless networks for credit card numbers and other confidential information.  Keep a paper trail of any transactions, and be sure to review the privacy policy of any website or merchant you are visiting.  For more information visit DTI’s cyber-security headquarters at http://digiknow.delaware.gov.

Additionally, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden offered some guidelines to avoid being a victim of cyber-crime.  Biden said it’s important to pay with a credit card, which provides you with consumer protections not afforded by other payment options such as debit cards.  Read the fine print, Biden said:  “when shopping online, it is important to read the product description and fine print very closely to ensure that you understand exactly what you are purchasing.”  Also, find out the website’s shipping and return policies.  Anyone suspicious of online fraud or with questions may call the Attorney General’s consumer protection unit at 1-800-220-5454 or send an e-mail to Consumer.Protection@state.de.us

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