by David Hakala

It pays to know who you are contacting over the Internet. Before you give any personal information, even an email address, to a Web site, you should have some idea who owns it and what their reputation is. If you buy something online, you should know how to contact the vendor in case there is a problem. Think worst case: where and upon whom would you have a lawsuit served?

Most commercial Web sites have an “about” page that tells you about a company, and usually a “contact” page giving the firm’s street address, phone number, and legal name. If you don’t find such information on a site, a red flag should go up and you should do a bit of sleuthing before parting with anything of value.
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