The Hidden Dangers of Online Shopping

Lynchburg, VA - Instead of fighting traffic and the hassle of driving, many people are doing their Christmas shopping online.

There are dangers, though, that come with the convenience.

Scammers know that during the Holidays, there are more people shopping over the internet. The thieves increase their efforts so they will have a better chance of stealing your information.

"They increase their pop-ups, they increase their marketing strategies, and they also increase their deceitfulness as well," Mark Lindy, Owner of Digital One Technology said.

Lindy owns Digital One Technology in Lynchburg, and has been fixing computers for more than 15 years. He says the Christmas Shopping Season is always a busy time for his business.

"More people go online and more virus activity has escalated this past month or so," Lyndy explained.

Lindy says there are few simple things to check before entering any personal information on a web site.

"If you notice right here it says 'H-T-T-P-S' up in the address bar, the entire address bar is green that's an indicator that a certificate has been put in place, and if you look right here you have the pad lock, and the pad lock is the indicator the transaction is secure," Linday said.

A reliable web site will only ask for your means of payment, your name, contact information, and an address.

If a web site asks for anything more, it's likely a scam.

Even if you do find yourself at an unreliable web site, don't be so quick to click the red "X" to close your browser.

"Virus writers reprogram that X sometimes so instead of closing the window your actually activating the virus," Lindy warned.

Lindy says if you do visit a website, or a pop-up appears on your screen and you feel you are on an unsafe site, don't click the red 'X' he says hit 'ALT F-4', to safely close your internet window.

"Usually if something is too good to be true, it usually is," Linday emphasized.

Lindy says to use a credit card, and not a debit card. While debit cards are popular, they only have enough money on it for the particular purchase you are making.

It's also a good idea to check the web site to see if they list a physical mailing address and phone number.

If you do happen to get a virus cut your computer off immediately and take it to a repair shop you know and trust.