Playing it Safe

The Internet brings a global marketplace of information, products and services into the privacy of our homes every day.

Shopping at home might make you forget that you're still doing business . . . out there.

In fact, you and your fellow "e-consumers" probably need to be more cautious in cyberspace than you do on Main Street or in the mall.

That's because as you gather information from the Internet, the Internet is gathering information about you . . . sometimes without your knowledge.

Some businesses will use the information you provide for fraudulent purposes.

No one wants to lose money on an Internet transaction, but losing personal information—your identity—could do even more long-term damage to your financial well-being.