Tag Archives: online shopping

Click with confidence: three tips to protect your privacy when shopping online


| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com


If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season – perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they’re concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information.

For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.

1. Read privacy policies. You’ve probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without reading, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 percent of websites have a privacy policy, those documents average nearly 2,500 words – which is almost twice as long as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many online shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe.

2. Adjust your privacy settings. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust your cookies and make your computer more protected and cut down on inadvertent data leakage. However, be prepared to spend some time doing this, and remember that each browser is different. If you use multiple browsers on multiple computers, you’ll need to configure them all to your preferences. If making those changes is beyond the scope of your technological knowledge, you can try asking for help from a savvy friend or family member, or an electronics store employee might be able to help.

3. Look for privacy verification seals. Perhaps the easiest, quickest way to ensure that an online retailer is trustworthy is to look for seals and logos certifying a website’s privacy practices, such as the green TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. It’s an easy at-a-glance way to get an idea of how dedicated a retailer is to protecting its customers, but keep in mind that if you want to learn more, you can click on the seal to get more detailed information about the sites privacy practices. There are also browser add-ons that can help you find e-commerce sites that carry the seals, and an online directory of participating websites that you can browse.

During the holiday season, you can shop with more confidence if you know that your personal information is safe. And as retailers learn that consumers demand more privacy measures, they’re responding by making their policies more easily available.

Chalk up more back-to-school savings by shopping online


| ara@queenscourier.com


(ARA) – As the end of summer nears, the flashing red lights of yellow school buses will caution drivers to stop as students board. College students will pull out of driveways with cars filled to the brim with dorm room supplies. And the school bells will echo across the playground, signaling the start and end of classroom learning.

Of course, before school starts in the fall, parents will tackle the task of back-to-school shopping. The “must-buy” list often doesn’t change much from year to year. Students of all ages and schooling levels will need pencils, notebooks, new clothes, backpacks and folders. As you develop a shopping list for your children this year, consider making the back-to-school shopping experience a bit easier by staying home, shopping online and saving money. Use these tips for better back-to-school savings.

* Regular school supplies like pencils, pens, rulers and notebooks are best found via big box retailers. But often in the stores, the back-to-school aisles look as if a whirlwind trashed the place. Instead, calmly sit at home with your list in front of you and order the supplies your children need via the retailers’ websites. In addition, use cash back sites like Ebates.com, to find extra savings, both on shopping list items and shipping costs. By having all the supplies delivered to your home, you’ll have saved yourself the time and stress of taking the children to the store.

* Shop the back-to-school sales online. Many retailers will designate a day, week or even month promoting their back-to-school discounts, and some states will designate a tax-free shopping day for school items and clothing. Take advantage of these savings, and look for “buy one, get one free” offers (very helpful if you have more than one child heading back to school) or free shipping coupon codes to add even more savings.

* Some online coupon sites offer cash back on your purchases. For example, when shopping for school supplies online, visit your favorite retail stores through Ebates.com, make your purchases and receive cash back rewards based on a percentage of your purchase. Plus, the back-to-school shopping season will bring increased cash back from dozens of popular stores, so take a little time to compare the best cash back rates with each store’s coupon codes and discounts to make the most of any available savings.

* College students often qualify for student discounts when using a valid student ID. Electronics like laptop computers and smartphones are typically the biggest budget items on a college student’s back-to-school shopping list. Search for seasonal discounts and coupon codes at computer and mobile brand online stores, like HP, Dell, AT&T and Verizon, where additional savings can be gleaned with a student ID.

Staying home and accomplishing the entire shopping list for your student’s back-to-school supplies without having to drive all over town will leave everyone in your family a bit happier and better prepared for the first day of school. Plus, the extra savings you can find while shopping online will help your budget.