Randy Hollowell, Senior Communications & Web Coordinator, IT Services

Although “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” is behind us, if you are anything like me, there is still plenty of shopping to be done.

Online shopping has become a very popular way to make purchases without the annoyances of crowded malls and traffic. But be advised – the Internet has unique risks – so it is important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online.

Here are just a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission that will hopefully make your holidays safe and secure.

  • Use a secure browser— Be sure your browser has the most up-to-date security capabilities by using the latest version. When submitting your purchase information, look for signs that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL for a website that begins “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”).
  • Check the site’s privacy policy— It should let you know what personal information the website owners are collecting, why, and how they’re going to use the information.
  • Read and understand the refund and shipping policies — Make sure you can return the item for a full refund if you are not satisfied. If you return it, find out who pays the shipping costs and when you will receive your order.
  • Keep your personal information private — E-mail is not a secure method of transmitting financial information like your credit card, checking account or Social Security number.
  • Give payment information only to businesses you know and trust and only when and where it is appropriate— like an order form. Never give your password to anyone online, even your Internet service provider. Do not download files sent to you by strangers or click on hyperlinks from people you don’t know. Opening a file could expose your system to a computer virus or a program that could hijack your modem.
  • Keep records of your online transactions— check your e-mail for messages from merchants with whom you’re doing business. Merchants may send you important information about your purchases. Print and save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price and the online receipt.
  • Review your monthly credit card and bank statements— for any errors or unauthorized purchases promptly and thoroughly.

Hopefully these tips will help you have a holly jolly Christmas this year and keep you safe the whole year.

muConnect powered by Google Reminder

If you haven’t already done so, please remember that all undergraduate students must activate their new Miami e-mail account – muConnect powered by Google – by January 4, 2011. After that date, students will be automatically switched to the new system and will no longer be able to access or migrate old email messages to the new system. In other words, your old e-mail will be deleted.

To activate your new email account, getting instructions for migrating the messages in your old account or for more information, go to www.muohio.edu/GoGoogle.

If you have questions about activating a new muConnect powered by Google account or questions about migrating mail from the old system, please visit the Support Desk at 103 Robertson Hall or contact them at ithelp@muohio.edu or 513-529-7900.