Online shopping


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Online shopping

  1. 1. Online Shopping besafeonline
  2. 2. Can’t find the hottest Christmas toy in any Toys ‘R Us for three states? Source it from China. Forgot to pick up a souvenir from France to thank your neighbors for watering your garden? Take a peek at Etsy for a trinket that you wouldn’t have found in a Parisian market anyway. E-commerce has transformed how we purchase goods and services, and levelled the playing field for entrepreneurs. And it’s growing all the time. Buy now!
  3. 3. Be Safe Online Online Shopping 2 T he marketplace is now global. Transactions that once would have happened face-to-face - from flights to appliances to groceries - can all be made online, with consumers getting the best choice, the most competitive prices and the ease of purchasing how, when and from wherever they want. From a consumer point of view, the benefits are almost limitless. For a start, there’s no traffic, no jostling, no lines. You might not know what exactly you’re after and serendipitously discover a long-lost book from your childhood. Or you might know precisely what you’re looking for and be able to find the optimum cost, condition and delivery option. It’s also turned those dreaming of starting a business into online entrepreneurs, from small-time crafters to ambitious e-retailers. With mobile technology, too, online shopping has gained an even firmer foothold in everyday commercial transactions. When you can research a product, do a cost comparison, check your bank account and make a purchase all in the palm of your hand, where’s the appeal in the traditional method? There are, of course, still good reasons for visiting local retailers or resisting the urge to impulse buy. What’s more, there are a few other considerations and safety precautions every online shopper or retailer should be aware of, whether they’re buying or selling goods or services. IntroductionIt takes seconds to create online accounts, but have you considered what happens to them when you die? Think now about what you need to do in order to make the process as painless as possible for loved ones. Judy Bitterli is a Senior Vice President at AVG. She blogs about online experiences at
  4. 4. I f you know little about processing speed, memory or any of the specifications that should be considered before purchasing a pricey item, you could speak to a big-box store clerk. But how can you be sure they won’t try pushing a certain brand to clear the shelves before the new model arrives? They may be knowledgeable and helpful, or they may not actually know a lot more than you. The ability to research, read product reviews and compare and contrast items online means consumers can be armed with information without the pressure to buy. There are no distractions from store employees pushing extra products you don’t need, whether it’s a computer bag or a warranty. When you’ve made a decision, you can search for the best deal, and things such as computers can often be bought right from the manufacturer. Home delivery saves the cost and hassle of driving to a shop, even if there are shipping and handling fees. Or you can head out with the product details on your smartphone, ready to show a clerk what you’re after. With barcode or QR scanning apps, consumers can check products to see reviews and compare prices. But what if you’re after something unusual, rare or hard to find? Or could you cash in on items you no longer use, if not just get someone to take them away? Discretion may be required, so sites such as - specializing in private shopping, purchasing and delivery of “the world’s most embarrassing products” - provide a modesty-saving solution. Here’s howEveryone knows the internet has all the answers. But beyond information, it also has solutions that are changing how we do business. Say you’ve decided to buy a laptop, for instance. Be Safe Online Online Shopping 3 With barcode or QR scanning apps, consumers can check products to see reviews and compare prices.
  5. 5. Talking shop Craigslist Online classified ads for everything under the sun. Ebay Browse, buy and sell on the original and biggest online auction site. Be Safe Online Online Shopping 4 Online shoppers and wannabe start-up e-retailers have more options than ever. Here are some of the top sites for browsing, buying and selling. Free Cycle Renovated your house and got some salvageable carpet? Give it away to a grateful student or other cheapskate who will take it off your hands. Amazon What started as the booksellers’ worst nightmare has transformed into the largest and most comprehensive internet retailer in the world. Etsy Arts and crafts in the digital age. Anyone who hasn’t found the perfect craft market to display their cardigans knitted for chickens can open a virtual storefront as part of the Etsy collective. Groupon Sign up to get cheap deals by email on hotel stays, spa visits, restaurants and more.
  6. 6. B ut increasingly, people are making more of their purchases online, from big-ticket items to convenience services. In fact, consumer online sales hit $1 trillion in 2012, and are expected to grow by more than 18 percent in 2013, according to eMarketer, a website that covers digital marketing, media and commerce issues. Still, it can be unnerving the first time you type in your credit card details and hope your purchase materializes. Is the website secure? Is the business legitimate? Will your antique porcelain vase arrive in one piece? Before doing anything, make sure you’re on a secure site, which will have an https address and a closed padlock symbol. The Federal Trade Commission regulates some e-commerce activities, amongst other things stating that online advertising must be truthful and not deceptive. There’s also an International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network of government fair trade organizations charged with tackling problems with international commercial transactions. Individual countries have their own trade bodies, such as the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom. It’s in the best interests of legitimate online businesses and traders to provide the goods and services as promised. That’s not to say problems don’t occur; but use common sense - if something looks too cheap or good to be true, it probably is - and take basic online safety procedures. It’s a good idea to do a search of the seller or retailer before buying, which may highlight any problems other customers have had. Shop safelyIf you’ve been reluctant to make purchases online, you’re not alone. There are safety precautions to be aware of, but retailers and other commercial sites have worked hard to safeguard consumers making online purchases. Be Safe Online Online Shopping 5 It’s in the best interests of legitimate online businesses and traders to provide the goods and services as promised.
  7. 7. W hile mobile devices present other potential problems, they should be treated just as your home computers are: be sure they’re secured with appropriate software and check that anything you’re downloading is safe. Some apps can corrupt devices, making passwords, credit card details and other sensitive data available to hackers. As with any online activity, take care when using public computers or WiFi networks. It’s not difficult for other users to see what you’re up to if you’re not encrypting your online activities, which puts your data at risk. This is especially true when making any financial transactions on the move. Remember, too, that your online activity, from browsing to buying, is followed closely by merchants and advertisers. The intention of this is to make your online experience smoother and more relevant to your interests, rather than to give you the creeps when ads for things you’ve been searching for seem to follow you from site to site. For more information about targeted advertising, cookies and other technical e-commerce issues - and how you can have more control over it - see AVG’s Digital Privacy guide. One last reminder: while products and services might cost less on the face of it, don’t forget there will be costs associated with shipping, handling and postage, especially when ordering from overseas. Items coming from other countries or things you’ve agreed to post abroad also might be subject to import or export taxes or fees. Hidden costsYounger generations who are used to mobile technology probably don’t think twice about making purchases on the move. But even those who are accustomed to online shopping may find making smartphone purchases a new challenge. Be Safe Online Online Shopping 6
  8. 8. ConclusionWhen almost everything you need to buy can be found online - even while you’re on the move - it can be tempting to make purchases without a second thought. You’ve found the best deal on the exact product you want and the most convenient delivery option. But have you considered: Whether the site or item is legitimate, and how to find out Other potential threats, such as whether your credit card details are secure What rights you have, especially if buying from abroad, and whether there are hidden charges With a few tips, you can make the experience even better for everyone concerned. Learn more about internet security at Join us on Facebook