Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Love Our Children USA Helps Protect Teens on Cyber Monday

Ross Ellis, founder of Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying is a dedicated and devoted crusader to help protect children in our country.

Recently she wrote a fantastic and timely article to help protect you and your teens during this holiday season. Cyber Monday is a very busy time online. Here are some great tips by Ross Ellis – and as a Parent Advocate, I believe everyone needs to take the time to learn more about keeping you and your family safe in cyberspace!

Holiday safety for you and your teens on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is 6 days away, for those online shoppers who want a great deal on their holiday gifts.

61% of consumers are shopping online and that includes teens shopping online as well.

Here’s what you can do to ensure online safety:

• Talk to your teens about online safety and how to avoid these online Cyber Monday scams
• Be sure you know what sites your teens are shopping on
• Make sure the web site is legitimate before inputting your credit card info
• Make sure the site provides full contact info. It should list the company’s street address, phone number and e-mail address. You can find this in the “Contact Us” or “About Us” pages. Check out their return policy or privacy policy, for a mailing address.
• Check out the privacy policy. Look for a link at the bottom of the home page that says “Privacy Policy” or for a link on the “About Us” or FAQ pages. Read the policy to find out whether the company shares customer info with third parties and whether you can opt out. Look for a trust e-seal, which means the privacy policy is solid.

• See what says. Look for the BBB Online Reliability Program seal on a site’s home page. (Clicking on the seal should take you directly to Or go to Reviews and search by the company name or URL. Look for a rating of “satisfactory” or a grade of at least C-. Some smaller sites aren’t listed, and plenty of excellent sites aren’t yet accredited.

• If the site looks sketchy, contact and
If you have a bad experience you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at You can also report your bad experience to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, at if you are the victim of an internet crime contact Internet Crime Complaint Center, backed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at

According to Consumer Reports, cybercriminals have bilked $8 billion from consumers in the past two years. As shoppers open their wallets and their Internet browsers for Cyber Monday deals there’s an increase in scams. Especially the 12 scams of Christmas.

Don’t click links in e-mails, which can easily redirect you to false or misleading websites. If you create a new account to buy something use a unique password with letters and symbols, rather than using the same password for all of your log-ins.

Be sure your security software is updated!

Discuss Cyber Monday safety rules with your teen and have fun shopping safely!
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