WCSO warns about risks of online shopping

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Updated: 11/19/2012 11:48 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- The dramatic increase in cyber shopping on the Monday following Thanksgiving has increased the number of deals available to online shoppers on November 26, but shoppers need to be aware of online shopping risks.

Washoe County Sheriff's Office recommends that you make sure you have an up-to-date security suite (firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware) installed with the most current information before shopping online. Also, keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date.

WCSO also says before you enter your personal and financial information for an online transaction, look for signs that the site is secure. This includes a closed padlock on your Web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured. Never use unsecured wireless networks to make an online purchase.

Before providing personal or financial information, check the Web site's privacy policy. WCSO says you need to make sure you understand how your information will be stored and used.

If you’re using wireless internet, make sure it’s secured and not left open for just anyone. WCSO says to use caution when using free internet at a hotspot as you have no control over who might be intercepting your passwords and account information.

Print and save records of your online transactions, including the product description, price, online receipt, terms of the sale, and copies of any email exchange with the seller. Read your credit card statements as soon as you get them to make sure there are no unauthorized charges. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.

Never send cash through the mail or use a money-wiring service because you’ll have no recourse if something goes wrong.

For more information about personal safety and safe communities, visit WashoeSheriff.com and click the “Staying Safe” link.

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