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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: Purchasing On-line

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Purchasing On-line

Hi everyone!
This isn't a thrifty tip, but several people asked me to let them know more about this: On June 5th on the Discovery Channel at 8:00 ET the "100 Greatest Americans" will be broadcast. Viewers will be able to call in or go on-line to vote who they think deserves the honor of the greatest american.
Other people have asked me for a few tips about purchasing on-line. The most important is to use good judgement! If you don't feel good about a company or have never even heard of a company then just don't do it. You could also check out the rating of that company at www.bizrate.com before you purchase and you might consider using a credit card that is only used for on-line purchases so that everything can be tracked easily. Here are a few more tips:
1.) The first thing you should always make sure of before making any online purchase is that you are
insured from fraudulent charges in the case that your personal credit card number
gets compromised in any way (highly unlikely). But there is a very slight chance that this could
happen. You can verify this by speaking with your credit card company directly, 99 times out of a
100 the company will only hold the card holder responsible for a maximum of $50 if anything.
2.) Before revealing any personal information about yourself, look for and examine the merchant's
privacy policy. We suggest this just so that you are aware of your privacy rights while shopping
on the merchant's site. For the most part these are provided for your own good so that you
know what kind of information they are collecting from you and why they are collecting it. In
Most cases this link is located at the bottom of every page usually entitled "Privacy Policy". If you
can not find this link request it from the merchant. If they do not have a privacy policy I
highly suggest that you do not deal with them!
3.) After you have reviewed the privacy policy and feel comfortable about revealing your personal
information to the merchant that you want to make a purchase from you should ensure just one
more thing. Make sure that their site is secure! You can usually tell this in two ways. Once you
click checkout you should see something telling you that you are being directed to their secure
server. What this is doing is taking you to a secure location where any data you submit from your
web browser to their site is encrypted. The other way of determining if their site is secure or not
is you will see an icon down in the bottom right hand corner of your browser in the shape of a
pad lock. If you notice neither of these things it is a safe bet that any information that you enter
is not secure or being encrypted. Sometimes you will only see the lock at the bottom right
corner of your browser window. If that is the case then it is safe to go ahead with your purchase.
I just received a virus alert from one of my computer services. If you have received e-mails in German lately DO NOT click on the link! There is a "Sober" Virus going around that sends itself to addresses gathered from compromised computers. The second pest discovered over the weekend is a new version of the "mytob" worm. Originally discovered in February, the "mytob"
e-mails attempt to look official with subject lines like "Important" or "Your e-mail account access is restricted". Do NOT click on those links either! Make sure you have good virus protection on your computer and never click on a link if you don't know where it has come from. A few weeks ago I told you to NOT click on any links from companies saying they are PayPal or Ebay either, especially if they address you just as "Customer" rather than being able to identify you by name. Be safe!
Gee, what a depressing newsletter today! Ok, I have to tell you something great now to make up for the computer doom and Internet gloom.....
The U.S. government has just reset the rates on Series I and Series EE savings bonds. If you buy now you can earn 4.80 percent on your money, which is a heck of a lot more than most places these days. To learn more, go to www.savingsbonds.gov
If you love free stuff like I do, then check out www.thefreesite.com All
kinds of freebies to brighten your day! Enjoy!
CENTSerely,
Sister Thrifty

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