Online Shopping

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A Google routine search of the word online shopping or online retailing defines it as a form electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Customers can find a product of interest by visiting the website of a retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine. Online shopping has become a popular way to purchase items without the hassles of traffic and crowds. However, the Internet has unique risk, so staying safe while shopping online is paramount.

There are few ways that attackers can take advantage of online shoppers. First on the list would be targeting vulnerable computers. If you do not take steps to protect your computer from viruses or other malicious code, an attacker may be able to gain access to your computer and all of the information on it. It is also important for vendors to protect their computers to prevent attackers from accessing customer databases.

Next would be creating fraudulent sites and email messages. Unlike traditional shopping, where you know that a store is actually the store it claims to be, attackers can create malicious websites that appear to be legitimate or email messages that appear to have been sent from a legitimate source. Charities may also be misrepresented in this way, especially after natural disasters or during holiday seasons. Attackers create these malicious sites and email messages to try to convince you to supply personal and financial information.

Last but not least would be the attacker’s attempt in intercepting insecure transactions. If a vendor does not use encryption, an attacker may be able to intercept your information as it is being transmitted.

Since the risks associated to online shopping are high it is important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online. Always remember to only deal business with reputable vendors. Before providing any personal or financial...
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