Stay Safe While Shopping Online
There's no question that shopping online is convenient. Online buying is not only a timesaver, but it allows you to get great deals when you compare prices of the same item from different online shops. The Internet is like a central shopping mall, where you can find just about everything you might need - from groceries and clothing to collectibles and hard-to-find replacement parts.
Unfortunately, online buying also has its share of pitfalls. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, there were over 205,000 complaints of Internet commerce-related fraud reported in 2004. The more than 184,000 consumers who paid money to the companies about which they were complaining paid a median amount of $214. Forty-eight percent of those complaints were regarding Internet auctions, while 17 percent were related to sales of merchandise.
Savvy consumers take appropriate precautions when shopping online, so that they do not fall victim to fraud. While saying that online shopping is just as safe as shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, he Federal Trade Commission suggests that consumers follow these guidelines when shopping online:
* Use an Internet browser that implements Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This helps to ensure that the personal information you send to online shops is encrypted.
* Become familiar with the online shop. If you don't already know their reputation, ask for a catalog or brochure. Be sure to inquire about their return and refund policies.
* When creating a password, use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Never share your password with anyone else.
* Use a credit card with online shops. If you must dispute the transaction, using a credit card protects you under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
* Print out a copy of your online receipt and your confirmation number. According to law, an online shop must deliver the merchandise within 30 days or notify you of a delay.
* Opt out of marketing choices. Many online shops will give you a choice about whether or not you wish your personal information to be shared with other companies or to be used for marketing purposes. Prior to checking the box, be sure you will welcome the ways in which the information will be used.
Shopping online is a great way to access goods and services 24 hours a day. An online shopping directory can give you a multitude of choices for online shops. Just be sure you shop safely!
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About the author:
Chris Robertson is a published author of Majon International. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2005 (Tue Jan 03 2006) Majon International. Majon International is one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing and internet advertising companies on the web. Visit their main business resource web site at: http://www.majon.com
Written by: Chris Robertson
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