Monday, December 29, 2008

Six Gift Shopping Tips to Keep Your Personal Information Safe

Tips for Gift Shopping Online

1. It's always safer to use your home computer. Just be a little wary of computers in public areas. There could be spyware on them that gives other users access to your financial information.

2. Type in the retailer's online web address rather than clicking through a link in an e-mail from the retailer. This will prevent you from being reeled in by a "phisher". A "phisher" uses a fake Web address and e-mail that pretends to be a real site. What may happen is, if you click "reply" on one of these phony e-mail messages, you are sent to the phony site where crooks can steal your passwords and financial information.

3. Always look for the padlock or a color bar at the bottom of an online retailer's Web site. This way you know that the information you enter is encrypted so no one can copy it.

4. Use more complex passwords and save them in a password manager. Using this software makes it easy to store multiple passwords. With it you only have to remember only one master password. How does a password manager work? You download it and it sits safe and secure on your browser along with the web address of your login pages. The first time you sign into an account of any kind the password manager asks if you want to save your username and password. You then give the username/password combination a name so you can locate it in the password manager.

5. You can use a single use credit card number. This is an excellent idea. Citibank, Bank of America, and Discover offer these numbers to cardholders. It's called the ShopSafe program. How it works is that you receive a number that is linked to your account but is not your actual credit card number. It keeps your true account number off the Web and out of merchant databases by generating a random, substitute number in its place.

6. Top search engine results are much more secure sites than those further down the list. If you're doing searches on the internet it's better to select sites higher up the list as possible on the first page of results.

Gift shopping is definitely a pleasure and convenience. If you follow these few tips, you'll have extra peace of mind knowing that your personal information is safe and secure.

Want to find out more handy gift shopping tips? Please visit my blog at to find the latest TV Product Reviews and tips.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Help - Gift Ideas For Last Minute Shoppers

Shopping for gifts at the last minute can cause you to panic. A lot of stores sell out of the popular Christmas presents fast. And you may not know what to do. So, what I'm going to do is share with you some ideas and tips for last minute Christmas help.
That way, you will be able to get everyone a gift who's on your list.
The last minute Christmas help is:
1. Prepare a Homemade Stocking or Basket. This is a great last minute present. You could fill the basket and stocking with a lot of little goodies. You can also personalize it. This will make this gift a special one for the person who are making it for.
2. Amazon Gift Cards. This is probably the best last minute gift to get someone on Christmas. You can have Amazon email the gift card to the person you are getting it for. It takes them about 4 minutes to email it, which makes this the perfect gift to get someone, even if it's on Christmas day.
3. DVDs/Movies. Getting someone DVDs and movies is another great gift at the last minute. There are a ton of new movies that are being released during the holidays. Some of the video stores are having Christmas sales on movies, too.
These are some ideas and gifts for last minute Christmas help. If you are wanting to get some gifts for someone on your list, you should get the ones mentioned above. They will make great presents for anyone who's on your list.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top Mistakes Made When Shopping Online

Shopping online is something that has grown in popularity throughout the years, especially since websites have become more secure and the shopping as a whole has become a much easier experience. As a matter of fact, many people are finding that it is simply easier to just sit at their computer and plug in a credit card for the items they want. This is opposed to hopping in their car, driving to the shopping mall, and standing in lines all evening long. In other words, the online method of checking out is much more efficient than standing in a cashier's line.

However, there are mistakes that people make when shopping online. It is very important to know what these mistakes are so that you don't make them the next time you buy something online.

The mistakes

Now, you might be wondering what these mistakes could possibly be because the Internet is safe, right? Well, it is true that there has been technology put in place that allows the Internet to be safer when carrying out transactions. People have worried about identity theft and stolen credit card numbers for years when it comes to the Internet. But these new and improved ways of shopping online have changed.

But some things have not changed, which is what contributes to these mistakes:

• Shopping from a site that doesn't have https:// in the address bar. You are used to seeing http://, but the https:// means that the connection is secure. This is very important when entering personal information such as a credit card number.

• Shopping from an unfamiliar site. Although someone may have said, "You have to shop from this site." You need to ask them if they have actually received the item. You also need to ask them if the charge was carried out correctly on their credit card. Again, make sure that the site is secure.

• Entering too much personal information is another issue. If you have a merchant asking you for your social security number, you need to hit your browser's back button because there is no need for that. If they say it is for "verification" purposes, that is not so. They shouldn't be able to compare your social security number in the first place because they don't really have access to any part of it.

• Make sure you keep an eye on the shopping cart. There are some instances in which it does not distinguish between adding something to the cart and checking out. You need to be careful because you might find yourself checking out instead of adding more items to your cart. This could result in you having to go back and do another transaction, which means additional shipping charges if you choose to use the same merchant.

These are some of the basic mistakes that can be made. In a nutshell, always be mindful of what it is you're doing on the Internet.


If you are wondering about the consequences that could be suffered from these mistakes, you're looking at possible identity theft, theft of credit card numbers, money taken for an item that you never receive, and the possibility of having to pay more than what you really have to pay.

Fortunately, these consequences can be avoided by ensuring that you're doing business with a reputable site and one that is secure. This means that you can have confidence in the company that you are doing business with. You shouldn't have to be afraid to carry out a transaction on the Internet. By taking the right precautions you can do just that. You can have the confidence that you are going to get exactly what it is you ask for.