Be Careful With Online Holiday Shopping
By ERIC J. SINROD
|Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005|
Yes, it is time to dig deep into your wallets and fork over some cash to spread mirth and merriment this holiday season by purchasing presents for your loved ones. And, if you have spent any time on the Internet (which is almost a certainty given that you are reading this piece), there could be no easier way to buy gifts than to do so online. So, what's the rub? Well, if you do not take prudent steps, bad things potentially could happen to you. Keep reading.
Forrester Research predicts that online holiday shopping will increase a whopping 25% this year, with 2.5 million households making online purchases for the first time. Indeed, TRUSTe reports that 78% of Internet users in the United States will conduct some of their shopping online.
Of course, a greater number of online purchases translates to increased risk of a parade of horribles, including identity theft, viruses, phishing, worms and spyware. Fears related to this risk has led 40% of consumers not to make purchases from small online retailers, 22% not to make any online purchases, and 14% to substantially limit online spending, according to TRUSTe.
Perhaps these fears are well founded, as a survey by Consumer Reports indicates that Internet users face a one-third chance of experiencing financial loss, computer damage or both due to viruses, spyware or hackers. These are fairly sobering statistics.
What is a would-be holiday online shopper to do? Bottom line - be smart and try to abide by the following practical tips recommended by the CEO a company called Sereniti, Inc.:
Keep these tips in mind, drink some eggnog, spend money, and have a happy holiday season!