Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Grinch-proof shopping: Don't let the bad guys ruin your holidays


It's prime time for shopping, and also prime time for crooks looking to take advantage of online shoppers, according to the state's Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, which has just issued its holiday checklist on how to avoid becoming a victim. 1) Update your computer with the latest firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. 2) Make sure the online merchant's payment site address begins with https:// (the "s" stands for secure). 3) Don't shop using WiFi hotspots, where it's easy for thieves to steal your credit card information. 4) Before you order read the fine print about return policies, shipping costs and handling costs (which are sometimes in addition to shipping). 5) Save a copy of all information pertaining to your order, like the confirmation number and any discounts you think you're getting, so you have documentation should problems crop up.

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