Caught in a Web of Viruses, Spyware, Hoaxes, Spam, Phishers, Pharmers and Every Other Scam? Online Shopping Still Beats Going to the Mall

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Research shows that eCommerce trends are moving upward. With so many good security products available and better security awareness, people are taking charge of their online shopping experiences and coming back for more.

Consider this scenario for a moment: You are at the mall and standing in line to purchase a few items. As you mindlessly wait your turn and fret about making it to your car with all the rain outside, you feel a slight nudge from someone weaving through the line. You step aside and then step back into the waiting line. The encounter didn't alarm you, however when you reach the register and search for your wallet, you realize that you have just been pick pocketed. Stunned and then outraged, you whirl around to find the culprit already lost in the crowds and long gone... And you thought identity theft was just for those whiny Internet users!

So is online shopping safer than traditional shopping? What about all that hype over the dangers of spyware, trojans, worms, viruses, phishing, pharming? The good news is that these fear factors do not control the Internet. Security products that protect online consumers such as antispyware, antivirus, firewalls, and filters are taking charge of the Internet and replacing fear with confidence. Shop freely and calmly assisted by the power of the technology that secures and protects the Internet.

Research shows that eCommerce trends are moving upward. That is good news for security Internet businesses like LogiGuard. “Security is one of the main issues that have stifled consumer confidence in the past,” says Wendi Trent, Director of Marketing, LogiGuard, LLC, “and the increased confidence in online shopping trends demonstrates that the security industry is doing a good job.” With so many good security products available from companies like LogiGuard and better security awareness, people are taking charge of their online shopping experiences and coming back for more. More satisfied customers means repeat business which means more sales. This is a most exciting time to buy online. Convenience is the latest in consumer buzz and the Internet is overflowing with convenience. No lines, no blisters, no grouchy clerks, no closed doors, no worries. The positively pragmatic possibilities of virtual shopping are right at your fingertips, day and night. The world is literally your market.

There is so little positive news about all the good that is happening in the security industry. We are constantly bombarded with the latest vulnerabilities and security breaches. The truth is that you are safer on line than calling in a catalog order, swiping your card at the hardware store, or faxing your card to pay for a product. “It is possible to have an unsecured transaction over the Internet, but by far it is MUCH SAFER than handing your credit card over to someone who can jot down the number and verification code on the back of the card, or stating the card number over the phone for an order,” explains Michael Rock, Web development contractor, Internet Presence. Consumers can shop more confidently now than at any other time. No more lost purses, highway robbers, or pickpockets. Online shopping is the best, most efficient way of shopping.

Although Internet security breaches receive a lot of press, most vendors and analysts admit that transactions are actually safer in cyberspace than in the real world. Leaving a credit card number online does not have to be like leaving a credit card receipt in the waste basket. More fraudulent use of credit card occurs within retail store employee circles, restaurants, and phone order centers than from phishing a server. Arming yourself with knowledge about how security works and understanding the methods of payment available online will help you to feel more secure as an online customer. This feeling of security will help you to feel more satisfied with your Internet shopping experience.

Security on the Internet is a very serious business. All secure web browsers ( like Explorer, Netscape and Firefox), will have a lock icon located on the toolbar or status bar at the bottom of the browser to annotate secure pages. If you do not see a lock, then the page is not secure. Do not give any personal information if you value your privacy without assurance that you are on a secure page. Another way to check for secure pages is to look at the URL and make sure that https appears instead of http. This indicates the use of public key encryption, one of the strongest encryption methods available at this time. This is also known as SSL or Secure Socket Layer. This protocol provides a secure connection to the server which protects your personal information as it travels over the Internet. Additionally, a second method of security that is being used is known as SET or Secure Electronic Transactions. This method encodes your credit card number on the server so that only the credit card company and the bank can read your number. These methods are very secure. When you understand how encryption works, you see that it is literally like finding a needle in a haystack to decode an encrypted site or server.

Another measure of security that is helpful is the use of vulnerability testing for websites. Retail sites benefit the most from this service as it can be used for early detection of any holes on the website that could be exploited by malicious users. Services such as Hacker Guard by LogiGuard perform daily tests and provide verification of this testing process to consumers by displaying a date-stamped logo directly on the site. Consumers can click on the logo and a certificate will be revealed that explains the testing procedure. This service gives assurance that a third party is constantly watching the site to stay one step ahead of those who would manipulate and misuse the Internet.

Although vulnerabilities are real and servers can be compromised, it doesn't happen easily. Be aware of all the security measures that protect you. Don't be paralyzed by fear when considering buying something online and using your credit card to pay online. Break through that web of fear and go online, not to the mall!

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Wendi Trent
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