Buy Safely on the Web:

Be aware of what web sites offer and do not offer. Learn the ins and outs of participating in web auctions. There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself while shopping online. Request  "Internet Auctions: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers" from the FTC.

-Learn about the different types of auctions, concerns to keep in mind, tips for buying and selling and who to contact for help. Learn about the benefits of shopping online and how to protect your personal information with "Shop Safely Online."

-Use the glossary in Site Seeing on the Internet to learn the lingo of the Net and follow its useful tips for protecting your children while they are online.

-Before you buy anything from an Internet auction, know who is selling the item. Verify the seller's identity before you place the bid.

-Be suspicious of sellers you can't identify. You may need to contact them if something goes wrong with the sale. Get their telephone number and try it out to make sure you have another way to contact them beside email. If they only have a P.O. Box they can be long gone by the time a consumer files a complaint.

-This same rule applies to other e-traders as well. Shop only with companies you know. If you're not familiar with the company request their catalog or a brochure to get a clearer idea of the merchandise being ordered.

-Look for the company's refund and return policies and understand them before you buy.

-Use a secure browser. Look for an unbroken key or padlock at the bottom of the browser to ensure the transmission is protected.

-Be wary if asked to supply personal information such as Social Security number, etc.

-If you need to create a password for the transaction be creative. Don't use a phone number, Social Security number, address, car license number, birthday, or anniversary date, nor your pet's name or name of a family member.

-Pay close attention when entering your order. An extra or incorrect keystroke can create havoc with your order. Also check the shipping charges and shipping time.

-Always print out a copy of your order just in case there is a problem with the vendor or your order later.

-If an order does go wrong, is late or never arrives call the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 1-801-530-6601 or 1-800-721-SAFE or check online at

-To receive FTC and other government publications call 1-888-878-3256 weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and ask for "Surfing the Web" package. There is a $2. charge.

Or for free publications visit the website at and check the hundreds of free publications available for safe web surfing.