Posted December 12, 2012 by Jennifer Kane in Technology

Click with confidence: three tips to protect your privacy when shopping online

If the growing online purchasing statistics from the past handful of years have been any indication, buyers will once again be flocking to on the web retailers this holiday season &ndash perhaps in bigger numbers than ever prior to.

However, as individuals grow to be increasingly savvier as Net shoppers, awareness and issues about on the internet privacy and safety have also grown. As numerous as 91 % of consumers say that they&rsquore concerned about privacy when purchasing on-line. Frequent news stories about consumer data getting sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of shoppers say they don&rsquot trust firms with their personal details.

For those who enjoy the comfort and decision that come along with online purchasing, there are a couple of approaches to make sure that your data is kept safe and private.

1. Read privacy policies. You&rsquove possibly observed them countless instances, but how typically have you really read a privacy policy? If you&rsquove shopped with no reading, you&rsquore undoubtedly not alone. Even though 97 percent of sites have a privacy policy, those documents average almost 2,500 words &ndash which is nearly twice as extended as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the typical particular person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many on the internet shoppers want to invest that considerably time. Nonetheless, reading the privacy policy will give you the particulars about what a internet site is carrying out to maintain your details secure.

two. Adjust your privacy settings. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust your cookies and make your pc more protected and cut down on inadvertent data leakage. Nonetheless, be ready to spend some time doing this, and remember that every browser is diverse. If you use numerous browsers on numerous computers, you&rsquoll need to have to configure them all to your preferences. If creating these modifications is beyond the scope of your technological expertise, you can try asking for assist from a savvy friend or household member, or an electronics shop employee may be in a position to aid.

3. Appear for privacy verification seals. Perhaps the simplest, quickest way to make sure that an online retailer is trustworthy is to appear for seals and logos certifying a website&rsquos privacy practices, such as the green TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. It&rsquos an easy at-a-glance way to get an concept of how committed a retailer is to safeguarding its customers, but hold in thoughts that if you want to discover a lot more, you can click on the seal to get much more comprehensive details about the internet sites privacy practices. There are also browser add-ons that can help you discover e-commerce sites that carry the seals, and an on the web directory of participating websites that you can browse.

In the course of the vacation season, you can shop with much more self-confidence if you know that your private details is protected. And as retailers learn that customers demand far more privacy measures, they&rsquore responding by creating their policies more very easily available. For far more details about creating your purchasing protected and secure, check out www.truste.com/customer-privacy.

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Jennifer Kane