Online Shopping: 10 Tips For Safe Online Shopping

Have you ever bought a product or service from the internet?

Yes? Me too. You’re not alone…

Some of the reasons why most people are shopping online are: they can buy anything at anytime because Internet shopping is available 24 hours, all the time.

You can shop from the convenience of your home. You can avoid traffic and crowding at the malls.

Online shopping is one of the best ways to locate hard-to-find items not available in your local stores.

Whatever you buy can be delivered by mail to your house.

Most online stores and companies provide excellent values and discount prices because they do not have to pay the overhead of owning a physical business that will cost them insurance, employee pay, taxes and more.

VeriSign, Inc. says that online sales recorded during the prime holidays shopping season was about $2.2 billion dollars.

According to a study by Forrester Research Company, by 2010, online sales will reach $331 billion dollars.

More consumers are shopping online today than a year ago. The range of products they buy are many: software, hardware, electronics, digital products, music, toys, e-books, books, programs, DVD, flowers, pets, jewelry, clothes, air tickets, insurance, cars, prescription drugs, comic books, games, gifts and more.

They are flocking to buy from online bookstores, software stores, online computer stores, target stores, pet stores, liquor stores, drug stores, music stores, furniture stores, fabric stores, the Disney store, outlet stores, surplus stores, discount stores, thrift stores, gift stores, candy stores, lingerie stores, sports stores, video stores, sex stores, department stores, game stores, clothing stores and others.

Be a smart and savvy online shopper. Shop wisely and safely.

Here are a few tips to help you do your online shopping safely.

(1) Shop at the websites of companies that you know and are popular offline.

If you’re not sure of the company, request their catalog or brochure first.

Be sure they have a physical address and phone, as well as an e-mail address. Call them and speak to a human being first.

Check with the yellow pages and the Better Business Bureaus to be sure the company is legitimate.

Read all the fine print and the refund policy before you place an order.

You may read about product reviews and what other shoppers have to say about a company at:

http://www.epinions.com, http://www.consumersearch.com, http://www.productopia.com, http://www.deja.com

Here are some internet shopping agents’ sites:

[http://www.comparenet.com], [http://vo.infospace.com], http://bottomdollar.com

To read about reviews on shopping stores, regarding ease of use, pricing, selection and service go to:

http://www.gomez.com, http://www.bizrate.com , http://www.ratingwonders.com

To read about web business frauds and get help to avoid being a victim, go to:

http://www.fraud.org , http://www.bbbonline.org , http://www.webassured.com

(2) Keep a record of all your purchases.

Most people are by nature disorganized and unable to keep records. Learn to keep records of all your online purchases. This will help you keep track of your spending and shopping.

Print all receipts or save them on your computer in a folder named “receipts”.

This will help you locate orders that you placed but were never delivered.

The more organized you are the less negative online shopping experience you’ll have.

(3) Keep all your important personal information safe.

Don’t give them to strangers who may call you over the phone or request them by e-mail.

Personal information includes: your address, e-mail address, phone number, social security number, drivers license, age, information about your family.

Don’t give them to any stranger and, also, teach your children not to do so.

(4) Keep your passwords private.

When creating a password, avoid using phone numbers, birth dates or social security numbers.

Be creative. Use a password that is not easy for others to guess, and yet not easy for you to forget.

Change your passwords often. Use phrases to help you remember them.

Don’t disclose passwords to anyone.

(5) Use a credit (but never debit) card to make your payment.

Be sure to keep all credit card payment receipts. Check your credit card account statements to be able to spot any unauthorized charges.

When you buy certain goods and services from some companies, sometimes they will keep billing you thereafter. So scrutinize your statements. If you see a charge you’re not sure of, call the billing merchant and check it out.

Keep your credit cards secure.

Avoid making a payment using your credit card on a public computer.

Report any lost credit cards immediately and have them cancelled. Don’t give anyone that you don’t know your credit card number.

(6) Read the return policy before placing an order.

Be sure that you read and understand the return policy and warranty.

(7) Read and understand the company’s privacy statement (or policy).

A privacy statement tells you how and why a business is collecting your information, and how that information may be used.

You may find the company’s privacy statement (or policy) at the very bottom of the home page or inside their “Terms & Conditions” or “Terms of Service” (TOS).

(8) Use a secure browser and server.

Be sure whatever browser you’re using complies with the industry’s security standards, such as secure sockets layer (SSL).

This security protocol scrambles or encrypts the personal information you send over the Internet to ensure your transaction is secured.

How do you know if the server is secure where you’re making a payment?

If a Web site is using secure technology, its Web address begins with https and a tiny locked padlock appears at the bottom right corner of the screen.

(9) Check out a few stores and compare prices before buying.

Look for hidden costs such as shipping and handling.

(10) Use Yahoo Search Engine for all your searches.

Yahoo continues to be, not only the largest online company, but also, the best Search Engine.

Unlike the other popular Search engine, which keeps companies in a sandbox for many months and refuses to give them rankings for many months, Yahoo is pro business and gives immediate rankings to companies and business.

Their search result is also excellent. That may be one reason why 60% of people online (including me) love Yahoo.

Also, they have the most reliable and the best hosting service in the world.

For these reasons, I strongly recommend you use Yahoo to do all your searches.

Happy and safe online shopping.

Warmly,

I-key Benney

Online Security Tips That Guarantee Your Security

A majority of people have their lives dependent on the internet. It is without doubt that many people will be online at least for a single session per day. For many people, there are forever online at their workplaces, others will be online in school and college, other are social media fans tweeting, on Facebook and other social networks. Connectivity has been much improved with the growing popularity of mobile devices like the smartphones, tablets, iPads and many more. Protecting your devices, your information and data when online should be a priority and an ongoing effort so as to make sure attacks and malware do not come their way.

Research indicates that a good number of people do not consider their security when online and especially those who use mobile devices. For some, it is just ignorance and attaching little or no importance to their online security. Lack of any cyber security measures or efforts can be a suicidal thing to do owing to the complexity of threats found online and the amount of personal information and other sensitive data required for some of the online endeavors.

Online security calls for personal effort and always being proactive. A number of things must be done to guarantee security and they are a necessity. Here are important tips which will lead to having your security when online guaranteed. With these tips you can shop, browse, socialize and go about any other online business without any fear of attacks and malware.

The first step is about taking care of the basics by making sure that the operating system as well as any other software used on the personal computer is updated. This is especially true for any security software installed on the computer. Updates also called patches are the way various software developers and companies are able to address security concerns found on their software. Updates are not hard work and they can be automatically configured to make sure that updates are done whenever they are available.

Pay more attention to what you do when online and the changes effected on various platforms which you visit often. Do not be too happy to click on links since most of these are from malicious websites whose aim is to steal data or even money from you. Other links will infect you with malware directly. Ensure that you have privacy settings are set to protect you and that you have an antivirus and firewall installed for your safety.

Have strong and unique passwords to all online accounts since strong password to reduce the probability of you being a victim of brute force attacks or hacking attacks. Every website or rather every account should have a unique password preferably one with alphabets, numbers and as well as symbols and not shorter than eight characters.

Never ever disable security so that to experience a high speed connection without any hiccups. This is a suicidal move and common among gamers. Always stay protected and find ways to work with the security software still providing real time protection. It is also recommended that the downloading of software be done from legitimate websites and not from peer to peer sites to be always sure of your security.

Choose you connections and friends very wisely when online especially on the social media sites. It may come with dire consequences accepting friends indiscriminately. There may be friends you have spoken to in a very long time and even complete strangers and these may be social bot luring you into a trap to get hacked. Remember to take care of your security and this will even ensure the security of you networks as well.

One other point is that Wi-Fi hotspots have become a trap which people connecting to public networks get hacked and their information stolen. It is important to verify that the network is legitimate and is secured. It is very risky to connect to a random network. VPNs are a good option which can make sure that all your internet activity is routed through a secure and private network.

Staying proactive will definitely increases the chances of reducing incidences of falling prey to online threats. Any lull will mean you will become a victim of the attacks.