AP9 Privacy Matters Offers Safety Tips for Shopping Online During the Holidays

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AP9 Privacy Matters, from Adaptive Marketing LLC, provides services and tools to help monitor and protect your personal and private information.

For millions of consumers, the Internet has become the ultimate shopping destination. The hours are great (24/7), you can leave the car in the driveway, and you don't have to wait in line for a price check. Instead, web-savvy consumers can cruise from one e-tailer to the next with a mere click of the mouse. But while the Internet provides convenient shopping, AP9 PrivacyMatters, a leading security and privacy membership program, warns that it might not always be safe shopping.    

The holidays are quickly approaching. Gift lists need to be created and presents need to be purchased – so much to do in what seems like so little time. With busy work and school schedules mixed with bad weather conditions, it's no wonder why people all over the world turn to the Internet for shopping. And while the vast majority of identity theft crimes take place outside of the virtual world, there are still millions of consumers who get their personal and private information stolen online every year, reports AP9 PrivacyMatters.

Before you make another online purchase, AP9 Privacy Matters suggests following these basic steps to help make certain that your shopping experience is not only convenient, but safe:

--Make sure your online transaction is secure. Reputable companies will encrypt your credit card information with security software, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). During secure transactions, Netscape NavigatorTM and Microsoft Internet Explorer both display icons of a lock or padlock.

--You can verify that your transaction is going through a secure server by checking the web page that's requesting your credit card information -- the web address should begin with "https" rather than "http." The "s" stands for secure.

--Know who the e-tailer is. Before shopping from an unfamiliar company, do your homework by checking trusted business sources. Another simple way to verify that the company is truly an established business is to ask whether they have a retail location or a catalog you can receive. If they are solely an online company, exercise greater caution.

--Read the privacy, shipping and handling and refund policies. You should do this for every company you transact with, even if it's a well-known retailer. These policies will tell you how they may use or share information about you, and will explain your recourse if you wish to make a return or lodge a complaint. If you don't find these policies on their website, send them an email requesting it.

--Keep a record of your transaction. Print out your order confirmation, the terms and conditions and even the description of your purchase. You should also know that unless a company states otherwise, they must ship your order within 30 days. If there are delays, they are required to notify you.

--Approach online auctions with caution. You can find great bargains through online auctions. Before you bid, though, you need to make sure you know the rules and policies of the auction site as well as the seller's terms for items that you wish to bid on, including warranties, the refund policy and shipping policy.

Members of AP9 Privacy Matters have access to unlimited, online credit reports, a credit monitoring service and many more tools to help protect what they have worked so hard to achieve. They can do this easily and conveniently at http://www.privacymatters.com.

This article was brought to you by AP9 PrivacyMatters.

About AP9 PrivacyMatters.

AP9 Privacy Matters is a leading security and privacy membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in both membership and loyalty programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at PrivacyMatters.com. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs such as AP9 Privacy Matters.

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