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5 Tips For Shopping Online Safely

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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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