Take care when shopping on the Internet
Shopping on the Internet is wonderful, but take care.
I do almost all of my shopping on the Internet, including groceries. I
happen to dislike pushing carts (that donít roll straight) on asphalt
parking lots. I also donít like to carry heavy packages, like gallons of
water. I am spoiled.
I have not been in a bricks and mortar store in over a year. But I sure do
go to LandsEnd, VermontCountryStore, BigDogs, Hanes, Amazon, Borders, Disney,
Stater Bros., Sav-on, Albertsons, and many others. I pay all my bills online,
I check on my mortgage online, I check my statement every day online. This, by
the way, is the easy way to see that no one is scamming you or using your
The Internet is open 24/7/365. Shopping on the Internet is no less safe
shopping in a store or by mail. However, make sure you use the following
(common sense) guidelines:
always determine the companyís refund and return policies.
- Shop with companies you know. Anyone can be on the Internet. If you are not familiar with a merchant, ask them to send you a catalog. Also,
- Keep your passwords private. Never give it to anyone. Avoid using obvious
words, dates and telephone numbers.
- Keep a record. Always print a copy of your purchase order and/or
confirmation number for your records. The Mail/Telephone Order Merchandise
Rule covers online orders. This means that unless the company states
otherwise, your merchandise must be delivered within 30 days or they must
- Be sure the site is secure when you are giving out any personal
information. To assure yourself that you are in a secure area on the web
site, look for these two clues: 1) In the address window of your browser,
the first part of the siteís URL changes from http:// to https:// when you
put in your name and password; and 2) a lock or key appears in the lower
corner of the web page.
- Use a secure browser. Your browser should comply with the industry
security standards, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
- How do the companies use your secure information? Itís up to you. You
can always decline or opt-out of having your personal information used for
marketing or shared with other companies. Look for this choice as part of
the company and request that they post one on the site.
- Why is shopping online as safe as other ways? Remember that you are
usually giving your charge or credit card numbers to SOMEONE. And a secure
online layer is preferable to a waiter or a cashier.
- Are you unhappy paying shipping charges? Donít be. Prices online are
often lower, and there is usually no tax - unless you are dealing with a
California company or a national company with a store in California.
Courtesy RB NEWSJournal
July 4, 2002