E-bay promotes identity-safe buying and selling

By Patrick McGowan
November 3, 2006

Many people use E-Bay everyday and believe that it is totally safe to use. E-Bay, however, should be used carefully in order to protect your identity and money. There are people out there that will try to obtain your information or money through various ways.

John Jonas, an English and communication major, uses E-Bay at least three times a year. Jonas knows about the spam e-mails some people send out to obtain personal information. “I think it is ridiculous the people who stoop so low,” Jonas said.

Jonas has not had a problem with E-Bay itself but has had a problem with a website called half.com, which is associated with E-Bay. “Half.com is bullshit,” Jonas said.

Jonas tried buying a book off of half.com over the summer, but he never received the book. After the seller refused to answer any of his e-mails, Jonas contacted half.com who promised him a refund. Jonas has yet to see that refund from half.com.

Bob Iodice, the building systems manager, uses E-Bay all the time. Iodice says that spams and scams are the risks you take when you use an auction site like E-Bay. E-Bay is doing all it can to protect your information, but ultimately it is up to the public to take actions to protect their information.

E-Bay, just like Iodice said, is doing all it can for customer security. When looking around on the site, there is a tutorial on how to recognize spam e-mails. Also on the site are ways to recognize a spoof, or fake, E-Bay website.

Spoof websites try to catch potential victims by making them think that they are really dealing with E-Bay. There are, however, simple ways to determine whether or not the site is fake. The simplest way would be to look at the URL for the page.

E-Bay also has several policies that help raise security levels. An example would be the policy against spam, spyware and spoofing. E-Bay does not allow spam, spyware or spoofs to be sent through their systems and will remove any instances of these from mail sent through E-Bay.

E-Bay keeps any personal information under heavy security using passwords, encryptions and even physical security. E-Bay cannot, however, promise the total protection of this information from third parties that illegally obtain this information.

E-Bay also suggests that you use caution when giving information to third parties like bidders, buyers or sellers. Although E-Bay will not disclose any personal information, the same rule does not apply to others.

Iodice says that he usually deletes all email he gets from E-Bay since he has no need to read anything from E-Bay. He can get any information he needs from the website itself.

“I would never use half.com again,” Jonas said. He said he has learned from his experience with dealing with half.com. Jonas gave this advice, “The Cabrini bookstore is safer, although it is more expensive, because at least you know you’re getting the books.”

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Patrick McGowan

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