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February 16, 2010

  • Get A Handle On Protection, Pt.2
      Know your liability and fine print.

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    Pay with your Visa or MasterCard credit card. Both of the top two card networks offer "Zero Liability" for any unauthorized credit card transactions. You are protected online in the same way as you would be if you were using your card at a store, through mail order, or telephone orders. The companies offer 100 percent protection. The same protections that go along with credit cards do not apply toward debit cards. Therefore, if you choose to use your debit card for online purchases, you should carefully read the terms and conditions of your card so that you understand the limits of liability. If you need further clarity, call you bank for assistance.

    Check out the return policy and shipping information. Before you provide your debit or credit card information, you should always look over any service/handling and shipping charges. If you're not careful, you could end up paying double or triple for the same product online that you could purchase at your local retailer. Some online retailers also charge an additional service or handling charge. Additionally, taxes and international currency exchanges may also increase your purchase price. Don't be caught blindsided when the credit card statement arrives with multiple fees because once you hit submit, it becomes very difficult to get any refund or credit.

    Check out what the merchant has to say about privacy. A valid reputable online merchant posts a Privacy Statement regarding the web sites use of your credit card or personal information. Some may also refer to it as Terms of Use or Terms and Conditions. You'll want to look them over closely to assure they will not sell your information to any other source. Do not provide information that is not necessary or too personal; for example, your social security number (SNN). Merchants do not require your SSN to process electronic payment transactions.

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