How safe to shop online?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by taff, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. taff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #1
    Hi everyone, I have accuired my first mac although second hand from a friend of mine i guess it will get me going before i can afford something better. The mac has been preloaded with the tiger 10.4 and runs ok, and to be honest i am after two weeks of using it more than happy to make the switch from windows, however my biggest concern is online safety, as i mainly buy stuff off the net, now i had all sorts installed on my pc mainly norton for security, and i know from my friend that Applemac as i understand supplies it's own security software in the OS and although i have had an update for itunes as yet no update for security.
    So,,,how safe are macs for online purchases?....and do i need any extra third party security software?
    Thanks all and sorry to bore you!
    taff.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    It's as safe as the encryption used for the transaction.
     
  3. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #3
    You don't need any additional security software. Just be careful who you shop with (as you should have been already).
     
  4. bluefiberoptics macrumors regular

    bluefiberoptics

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    #4
    Just because a site uses encryption doesn't mean that particular site is trustworthy. I would recommend the popular online stores (Amazon, etc.)

    However, if you are unsure if a site is trustworthy or not, I recommend going to http://www.resellerratings.com and see if that site is listed and what people posted about it.
     
  5. taff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #5
    Thanks everyone for your advice, appreiciated. :)
     
  6. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    Security comes down to the actual shopping website and how they get your private details from your machine to theirs. The browser is the intermediate tool that enables you to do that, and all browsers are safe and secure in that aspect.

    The only security issues are if someone tries to by-pass the browser's security and install things on your machine. This is all to do with viruses/spyware etc., not internet shopping.

    To be honest, the biggest security issue nowadays comes from the use of Pay Pal, not the actual shopping sites. You've probably got more chance of Pay Pal freezing your account or making an administrative cockup than being at risk from pressing the 'buy' button.
     
  7. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #7
    Very true that. Talk about "trigger" happy! If you access your account from a "foreign" ISP you can get locked out… *sigh*. I can see their point sometimes, but mostly they are just too suspicious.
     
  8. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    For most online stores (like mine), that's not even the case. Most online stores are set up with a Gateway to a third party credit-card processing agent (most are owned by the big banks these days; ours just sold to Wells Fargo) who handles the actual money. All of this is done through secure gateways and unique IPs (not SSL; all an SSL cert does is verify that a third party knows the seller exists). We never see your credit card number nor receive anything with it included. However, in theory we could access them, I suppose, if you choose to save your details in your profile. But the cc numbers are encrypted in the database, so you'd really need to know what you're doing...

    Overall, shopping on line is far more secure than shopping by phone or, in a lot of cases, even in a physical store.
     
  9. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    #9
    The most important thing is to NEVER use your bank card to buy things online. In fact you should avoid it altogether. Unlike credit cards, banks cards are tied directly to your entire savings and they have no fraud protection. Using a bank card is way too risky.
     
  10. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #10
    A debit card? I use it all the time on the internet!
     
  11. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    Bad idea! If somebody ever stole your debit card number, they could empty out your entire bank account before you knew it, and you'd basically be out of luck. At least with credit cards, it'll come out of the bank's pocket first instead of yours -- so you're in a better position if you dispute the charges.
     
  12. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    True. But there is more protection than there used to be, as most bank cards are secured by either Visa or Mastercard these days...

    But yeah. Even if you win a dispute and get your money back, it still won't help you if you bounce your mortgage check before it can be returned.
     
  13. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #13
    That's true. But here's a service that I've used for years but most people have never heard of: it's called ShopSafe and is provided free by Bank of America with their credit cards (not debit cards). How it works is you just create a single-use credit card number whenever you want to shop online with a credit limit that is just above whatever you're buying, that way even if your card number gets stolen it's worthless.

    (I hate to sound like an advertisement for BOA but I really love this service.)
     

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