It's easier than ever to buy things online -- including pizza, of which sales shoot through the roof on the day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully not too many of those pizza sales were to people who burned down their houses using turkey fryers.
Here's a tutorial for setting up a newsgroup in Thunderbird, which is the mail sidekick to Firefox.
Speaking of Firefox, don't use the Password Manager (and don't use the password-saving function in Internet Explorer, either. A new exploit allows some crooks to exploit the tool to steal your passwords.
And here are some tips for online shopping:
- Read everything before you buy -- you aren't doing yourself or the online retailer any favors if you buy something you shouldn't have and end up having to return it
- Only use credit cards on secured, encrypted websites -- look for the little padlock icon in the lower-right-hand portion of the screen
- Look for reviews of the store that you're buying from, especially on eBay
- Evaluate the style of the site. If it looks like they haven't spent any money making the site look any good, then you should have reason to wonder whether they've spent any money building a secure infrastructure. Looks aren't everything, to be sure, but if you wouldn't just hand your credit card over to a dumpy-looking brick-and-mortar store, you probably shouldn't do it in a dumpy-looking online store.
- Don't use unsecured wireless networks to make your purchases. Don't buy things using wireless networks in coffee shops or airports -- or your own wireless network at home, if you haven't applied proper security.