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5 Tips For Shopping Online Safely

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5 Tips For Shopping Online Safely

A lot of people these days no longer resort to the traditional ways of buying stuff — that is, by going into department stores and malls — because almost everyone has bought into the idea of online shopping.

Many embrace the convenience of online shopping. However, there are also a lot of people who are still skeptical about it because they aren’t assured of the safety of these online transactions. There have been numerous reports of fraud transactions in the past years, including cases of identity theft, which give online shopping a bad name. Safety is always a must, particularly when there is money involved, so here are a few tips to help you shop online safely.

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1. Shop at trusted sites

Most of the reported cases of fraud and identity theft occurred when transactions were done via social media or obscure shopping sites. This is why you should do your online shopping at popular and trusted sites such as eBay and Amazon. Once you get the feel of things on these sites, then you can branch out to other trusted retail stores that you can take advantage of later on. These websites are not just popular for no reason — they are authentic and can be trusted by customers. The testimonials on their sites and feedback from fellow customers further testifies to their legitimacy.

2. Make sure the website has the SSL encrypted

The SSL (secure sockets layer) is a tool that gives you a sense of privacy when it comes to information that you give out within a website. You can tell that a website has the SSL encryption if the URL starts with an HTTPS:// instead of the usual HTTP://. There will also be a padlock icon seen right beside the URL in the address bar or at the bottom in the status bar depending on the type of browser that you are using.

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3. Be discreet

It is understandable that retailers and merchants will ask for some personal information for your transaction, but this info should only be limited to name, address, contact number, age, and credit card number (depending on the mode of payment). You should not give out other personal details that will be useless for the transaction because this can give other people a chance to steal your identity.

4. Protect your computer

Make sure you install antivirus programs that will protect you from viruses, Malware, and Spyware programs that can access information from your computer and invade your computer or device. Some thieves are high tech enough to take advantage of this method in order to steal information from users and use it against them.

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5. Check your account statement

Check your account balance right after the online transaction so that you are assured that the money that you paid for your purchase was the only amount taken off your account. If you are paying via credit card, then you can call your credit card company and ask for your latest transaction, including the amount you owe them for that transaction. This is to make sure that the merchant charged you correctly and that there are no other suspicious transactions on your account.

As long as you practice the above safety tips, you can be assured that you will not be victimized by cases of fraud and identity theft. Most of the time, the victims are the ones who are careless and do not observe proper decorum when transacting online.

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However, be wary that online shopping can be addictive, that is why you need to control yourself as you become comfortable with shopping on this platform. Keep in mind that you can purchase things online at anytime of the day and anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Your finances will greatly suffer once you lose control of your buying habits — even if your personal information and accounts are kept secure by these safety tips.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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