SOURCE: Electronic Retailing Association

November 05, 2007 10:58 ET

ERA Issues Top 10 Tips for Safe, Smart Online Holiday Shopping

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 5, 2007) - As consumers are poised to spend more than $24.6 billion online for holiday gift giving this season, the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) wants online shoppers to be smart, savvy, and safe.

Some of the nation's most prominent online retail merchants such as eBay, ShopNBC, QVC and Home Shopping Network (HSN) are ERA members.

ERA encourages savvy consumers to follow these simple tips when shopping online:

1) Make sure all transactions are Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enabled and encrypted. SSL has become the universally accepted method for providing secure communications on the Internet. Before entering personal information, be sure the padlock at the top or bottom of your browser is closed and locked.

2) Also make sure "https:" begins the webpage address. This signifies a secure connection has been established.

3) Look for third party verification devices, such as the Better Business Bureau logo or the buySAFE seal. When you click on the logo/seal, you should receive more information about that company's status.

4) Check for contact information and be cautious of sites that don't offer a phone number. If you find a telephone number, call to ask about the company's security procedures.

5) Ensure the website accepts more than one type of credit card and gives an alternative to credit card payment.

6) Provide your card number each time you make a purchase. The merchant may ask if you want to keep your credit card number on file for future orders, but this may be unsafe.

7) Designate one credit card for online shopping. This will allow for easy review of purchases.

8) Be extremely careful in responding to e-mails from anyone who asks for your password(s), Social Security number, birth date, credit card number or other personal information.

9) When shopping for a particular product, make sure to compare prices and availability on numerous and varying sites.

10) As with all transactions, take the time to read the fine print and know your rights as a consumer.

Consumers who have concerns about product claims can seek assistance through ERA's SavvyShopper program. Consumers may visit www.savvyshopper.org to submit a complaint about a particular company or product.

For more information please visit ERA's website at www.retailing.org.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Lauren Meley
    Enten & Associates, Inc.
    301-913-0010 x 127
    Email Contact