Tag Archives: online shopping

5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

online shopping tips

Adoption of online shopping closely followed that of home internet access a couple of decades ago.  Despite fear of something new the advantage of not having to drive to a retail location was too strong to resist.

Initially people were not used to entering personal information into a computer and especially hesitated when it came to payment data.  Gradually it became commonplace and there are many who do a majority of their shopping online today.  Although it is a fairly safe practice, it is important to be smart about it and use the following guidelines.

Shop at Home

With public Wi-Fi widely available users should remember that it is not secure and hackers can access the connection to steal your information.  For the same reason, you shouldn’t log into private accounts or enter confidential information when using public computers at locations such as libraries and hotels.

My email was hacked shortly after using a hotel business center computer during business travel.  It may be a coincidence but is an effective reminder about the lack of security.

Pay with Credit

online shopping tips

There are a couple of  reasons to use credit cards when paying for your internet purchases.  There is only a $50 limited liability for unauthorized purchases with a credit card while it can become unlimited after 60 days with a debit card.

Additionally, if you do not receive the products or services purchased a credit card issuer will investigate a disputed charge  and usually refund your money.

Review Transactions

Before making the actual purchase review the amount and all charges.  Are there any “hidden” fees you weren’t expecting?   Make sure all coupon or promotional codes are applied.

I’ve had the browser error when making a purchase and didn’t know if it went through and not.  When you get your bills, make sure the transaction matches and there are not any unauthorized charges.

Keep Records of Your Shopping

Keep all correspondence related to a transaction until you at least receive the merchandise or service.  I don’t leave the site until I either get a confirmation email with the details or print out the page.

For larger purchases,  make sure you have a copy of the terms.  For example does that vacation package include meals or not?  What is the cancellation policy for the hotel reservation?  These are important details that can end up costing you money if you don’t know.

Navigate to Website Yourself

Don’t click on links from search engines unless it is a URL you recognize.  Scammers work to get their fraudulent sites  returned by search engines with the goal of phishing your personal information.  Make sure the site accessed includes a security indicator such as a lock (depending on browser) and the URL includes https before entering personal information.

Be suspicious of unsolicited emails even if it appears to be from a known retailer.  Go to their site directly to make sure it’s not a scam message.

Shopping online can be convenient and safe by taking a few precautions.  Do you have another tip for safe online shopping?

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Photo Credit: izzatFulkrum

Are You Saving As Much As You Can Online?

money saving tips

The internet has certainly had some far-reaching effects on many people’s lives. It has provided us with the ability to learn about just about anything and everything simply by searching for the information we seek. It has allowed us to be more efficient with shopping and with many work activities, too. Further, it has provided many people with the opportunity to save money in a variety of ways, too. You may be wondering today if you are using the internet as much as you could be to save money on your expenses. Here are some of the top ways to save money online that you may not be putting to use today:money saving tips

Price Comparison Websites

There are several price comparison websites that allow you to shop for everything from cheap personal loans to insurance rates and credit cards. These comparison sites are designed to save you a considerable amount of time in your effort to shop around. Whether shopping for cheap personal loans, a new car loan, or something else, these sites can save you a considerable amount of money.

Coupon Websites

There are numerous coupon sites that are designed to save consumers money, too. Some of these sites provide you with discount codes for online shopping, and some provide you with the ability to view coupons on items you may purchase at a drug store or grocery store and then print out the coupons you need for your next outing. Still other sites provide you with group savings by organizing a bulk order purchase of an item or service and passing the savings on to you.

Social Networking Savings

If you are not friends with, fans of, or followers of your favorite stores and restaurants, you could be missing out on the opportunity to enjoy great savings. Many stores and restaurants offer special savings offers to those who have chosen to follow or friend them on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others. Often, there are promotional offers available for initially choosing to be a fan or follower, and then additional promotions and savings are provided regularly, too.

Savings With Apps

There are dozens of apps for your iPhone, Android phone, and other devices that are designed to save you a considerable amount of money. Some provide you with an easy way to compare prices while you are shopping. A few feature a bar code scanning feature that allow you scan an item with your phone, and then learn if the item is available close to you or online at a more affordable price. Other apps can guide you to savings while you are on the road, such as apps that help you find the lowest gas prices close to you or affordable dining options nearby.

You can see that there are dozens of ways you could be saving money online. If you are not currently putting all of these methods to use today, consider implementing a few of these ideas today so you can start enjoying the savings immediately!

Photo Credit: sunshinecity