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Long Realty is pleased to bring you Household Maintenance Tips courtesy of our local Long Advantage business partners. The articles below covers an array of helpful and insightful tips for the Arizona lifestyle. We hope you find this information useful.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

December 3, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also one of the most vulnerable times of the year, when it comes to shopping. Online shopping is a popular time-saving resource for holiday shoppers. However, there are thieves in cyberspace who will take advantage of unwitting online shoppers who are not careful.

To help prevent the Scrooges from dampening your holiday spirit, here are some tips to keep your online holiday shopping safe:

  • Make sure your computer has the most up-to-date anti-virus and firewall software up and running and that you have downloaded the latest security updates. Verify that your browser supports the highest encryption level which ensures that sensitive data transferred via the internet while shopping online cannot be used by unauthorized people.
  • Consider shopping only at sites that offer strong encryption standards and have seals indicating that these sites were reviewed and meet certain security and privacy standards as set by VeriSign and Web Trust etc. Secure websites can be identified by the unbroken key or padlock at the bottom of the browser.
  • Don't assume that public WiFi "hot spots" are secure. Unless you can verify that a hot spot has effective security measures in place, you may not want to send sensitive information like your credit card number over that network.
  • Pay by credit or charge card. They offer the best consumer protections. Under federal law, you have the right to dispute charges under certain circumstances and withhold payment temporarily while the creditor is investigating. And if your card is used without your authorization, your liability generally ends at the first $50.
  • Only shop with known and reputable firms.
  • Don't email your financial information. Email isn't a secure way to transmit numbers—your credit card, your checking account, or your Social Security number.
  • Only provide the necessary information for the purchase. There should never be a need to provide your birth date, social security number, mother’s maiden name, marital status, etc. This type of information can be used by criminals to steal your identity.
  • Be sure to keep the merchant’s phone numbers, addresses and receipt should something go wrong.
  • Schedule deliveries when someone will be available to receive the package.
  • Monitor your financial accounts. Read your statements regularly, making sure they reflect the charges you authorized.

We hope that these tips will help you achieve a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Cox Community Partners Article provided courtesy of Cox Communications. Cox provides free Cox Security Suite Plus Powered By McAfee®. with all internet services. Call Cox to further discuss the best level of internet service that will help you shop securely as well as cable, phone or home security services. Visit their website at: or call 520.822.8714 for more information.

The information contained in these articles are provided by local area businesses. We believe this information to be accurate and reliable, but it is not guaranteed.