The Art of Buying Safely Online

Why do you want to buy online?

You would like to buy online because:

Convenience

  • You do not have to ride to the mall.
  • You do not have to drive around ten blocks to find a parking place.
  • You do not have to jostle around with the crowds in the mall.
  • You do not want anyone following your every move with a hawk’s eye.
  • You do not want some one to convince you into buying, something that you do not need.

Well, I think they are good enough reasons why you would like to get onto the net and go buy something online.

Standard Features of online malls
Most of them are visitor friendly. Let us look at one such Online eMall I came across.

Let us now see how these Online eMall websites are designed.  This is a generic website.  Of course you understand that this site does not exist and it is only for demonstration purposes I am mentioning it here.  Let us call it simply – Online eMall.

The customer-friendly Online eMall website is cleanly laid out. The website name is very clearly displayed on the home page.

A key feature of this Online eMall is, it  offers franchises.  Normally, the franchise’s name appears to your left, right beneath the Online eMall profile. Then you have the navigation bar that indicates the e-franchise home, orders tracking and a tab to invite friends to the site.

Then you see those small folder icons: The name of the folders indicate the contents and within brackets the number of items too. For example the first folder is Beauty and Personal Care and it is displaying 43. When you click on the folder, the column to it’s right displays all those items that fall under the “Beauty and Personal Care” category. Each item has a small picture of the product / service with pricing, availability and probable shipping time.

So, all the visitor has to do is click on the folder on the left, view items that appear on the right, add her choice to the shopping cart, fill the forms and pay, to have them delivered at her doorstep. But before she confirms the order, it is up to her to make doubly sure that she is ordering exactly what she expects.

When the shopping season approaches, the Online eMall  owners will update the site and announce really amazing products and services to it’s customers, at great prices.

Phishing
OK, so what makes you think it is safe to buy online? Haven’t you heard of those who collect your credit details and siphon off monies without you ever knowing about it?

Yes, I have heard about that and read about it too. But then there are always those elements around. All you have to do is take a few precautions and you are better off.

Now let’s see what those precautions are:

FAQ’s
Every online shopping mall would have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and a privacy policy. Read them both carefully and if you are convinced that it is a good site and is taking care of your interests go ahead and do your shopping.

Warranties and Guarantees
Check if the the site is offering warranties and or guarantees on the products and services they are offering before you make your purchase decision.

Postal Address
You must take care to see if the postal address of the site is given on the web site. If it is not there, then their intentions are in doubt and I advise you not to do business with them.

Cash
There may be occasions that the company or any individual you are buying from asks for cash, say no. Tell them that you would prefer to pay with your credit card. That way you are protecting yourself from avoidable fraudulant transactions.

Help and Support
There are genuine sellers and are helpful. They would be more than happy to help you with your doubts and queries that you might have. Some of these sites do have a live chat service where you get instant answers. Some of them have Feedback forms for their customers and they always write you back about your concerns.

Search and Research
Use the search engines to learn about the online shopping mall that you are trying to buy from. This would help you learn more about them and you can make a buying decision based on that.

Reviews
If there are reviews left by customers read them. It would give you a better insight about this online shopping mall and how they go about treating their customers.

Return Policy
You should also make sure what their Return Policy is, so that you know exactly what to expect.

RESOURCES
There is this excellent site that tells you how to protect yourself from online phishing scams. Please click here to visit the site.

Happy Shopping!

Note:
This article was first published elsewhere on August 6, 2009 and the site is no more available.  Hence I am posting it here again.

https://web.archive.org/web/20101123150210/http://rightword.blogsome.com

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Six Tips To Becoming A Better Person

Self-development

Self-development is a process of guiding oneself based on the results obtained from an assessment of one’s thoughts and actions. The first step towards Self-development is identifying key areas that need to be changed for better. These could be one’s mental abilities, emotional strength, technical skills or educational qualifications. The next step is to find and employ the “tricks” that get us to achieve the intended goal. Here are a couple of steps that can help us get started with Self-development:

  1. Put your thoughts on paper. Writing weeds out lots of unwanted energy that goes into creating negative impact.
  2. Perform an honest self-assessment of your skills, abilities, know-how‘s etc.
  3. Evaluate the results and chart out an action plan.
  4. Prioritize the action plan to best match your career / personal goal / growth.
  5. Locate resources that matter most, and might act as an assisting-aid to execute your action plan.
  6. Last, but not the least, get down to it… and work on your action plan.  Make sure that you work out exactly as plan and do not procrastinate the “To Do” list.

For those who need that extra push, it is a good idea to enroll with self-development programs such as Leadership-Programs, Confident-Public-speaking, and Communication-skills etc. Such groups not only provide an all-for-one, one-for-all support with fellow members facing similar challenges, it also paves way to network with like-minded people, looking for help. You gain knowledge from someone else’s experience, while the other person may get a life-lesson by listening to your experience.

Let us not forget that, the biggest lesson any self-development tool-kit would give you is “Criticism is Good, react positively”. Indeed Criticism is Good, because it is this criticism that serves as a reality check and wakes us up from our self-absorbed “I know it all” mindset. True (self) development comes from reacting positively to such a criticism, however harsh it might be, whatever the source it might come from. Many fail at completing their self-development exercise due to the sole reason that they take criticism far too personally and fail to see it in a much broader sense. Ultimately, not making an inch of progress towards their actual goal.

Self-development is a skill and an art. While one needs to have THE inherent urge to improve one-self, this can also be learnt with the help of self-help books, audio-video aids, support groups etc. These help us focus on things that matter to us the most, and in turn makes us a better performer, at work, at relationships, at mentoring, at community activities etc. As easy as it might sound, it takes a lot of patience and rather a heavy dose of perseverance to complete a session of self-development (self-imposed or otherwise). But, those who do, are winners in their own sense for having mastered (or rather being able to deal with) their fear over criticism, face the audience with confidence, articulate their thoughts in a  better manner.

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Electronic Cigarette – Does it stop smoking?

Stop smoking

Hon Lik’s father was a smoker and could not stop smoking tobacco. He died of cancer caused by it. That broke the heart of young Hon Lik, a chain smoker like his dad. He wanted to quit smoking but his life was built around his nicotine oral fix. Somehow he had to get away from it. He made the first Ecig. He called his Ecig – “Ruyan”. In a Chinese dialect it literally means clean smoke.

Dr. Lennox Johnson says, “The best way to stop smoking is to stop smoking”. A reformed Scottish smoker he should know. In hi report published in the British medical journal Lancet, he suggests that to stop smoking you should first understand the psychology of smoking. Smoking tobacco is a way of announcing that you are a grown-up now. A smoker is also informing the world that he is sophisticated. It is an image that is carefully cultivated and very difficult to get away from.

Electronic Cigarrette - pic courtesy WikiMedia

Elsewhere, the Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin wrote in her report: “When individuals inhale cigarette smoke, either directly or secondhand, they are inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals: hundreds of these are hazardous, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. The chemicals are rapidly absorbed by cells in the body and produce disease-causing cellular changes.”

So every puff hurts, not you but also the others around you. It is best to stop smoking. But then the design and the contents of the products are packaged attractively and promoted aggressively. You need a herculean motivation to stop smoking. Contrary to what people advise and believe in “cold turkey”, a stop smoking technique is quite difficult to practice. The first day is the most deadly and to pass that night would be “nightmarish.” That’s when most of them fall prey to the relapse.

The pill, the patch, the spray, the inhaler, the lozenges, the gum are some of the nicotine products that are regulated by the Federal Drug Law. The Federal Appeals court in Washington unanimously held up a the FDA’s injection against the Ecig. Now the Ecig, a battery powered tube that looks like a cigarette and, delivers a steam like a clean smoke, free from smoke, without combustion moved a step closer to complying with the law.

Electronic Cigarette or Ecig is a device that suits one who wants to quit smoking. Some manufacturers of Ecigs claim it to be harmless, successful alternative to tobacco cigarette and it is an ideal smoking cessation device for people who intend to stop smoking. For those who say that Ecig is addictive there is an answer. Ecig comes with electronic liquid (also called eliquid, vapor, vape etc.) which is without any dose of nicotine at all and its accompanying harmful ingredients. Ecig may not stop you smoking immediately but it may aid you in your motivation to stop smoking.

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Ever Heard of Solar Christmas Lights?

Ever Heard of Solar Christmas Lights?

This year Solar Christmas Lights are going to spread the message through out the world that festivals do contribute to making this world go green.   During the festive season Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs are expected to raise the awareness of people about green and clean energy.  Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs will also increase the focus on Solar power and hopefully technologies that are involved in harnessing the abundant Solar energy will get a boost.

What are LEDs ?

Solar Christmas Lights are made of LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) that consume much less energy than your traditional tungsten filament or CFL light.  They are more efficient compared to the traditional lights that need color filters.

How do they work?

A light sensor when triggered by sun light, activates the solar cells on a controller board, which in turn charge a  battery.  The energy charged battery powers the Solar Christmas Light LEDs.  A bright Sun produces about 1000 watts of energy for each square meter of the earth.  Solar Christmas lights burn brightly for almost up to fifteen hours after a full charge.

Solar Christmas Tree at Rockfeller Center, New York

Energy Efficient

Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs are energy efficient lights with distinctive look.  They are cost efficient and last longer.  Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs do not burn out but fade out over a period of time.  Besides a single bulb fading out in a string does not affect the other LEDs.  The energy savings made compared to the traditional lights is quite substantial.

Lasts Long

Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs work for almost ten years.  This is almost twice the time of the incandescent bulb.

Safe

Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs are safer too. Since they do not generate much heat they are safer to hang on the Christmas trees.   Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs come in durable and sturdy plastic cases and do not break easily.  Hence they are comparatively safer and are less risky especially when children and pets are around.

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What are wide angle lenses?

What are wide angle lenses?

A wide angle lens gives you a larger view of the foreground.  This is because the focal length of a wide angle lens is shorter than a focal length of a normal lens. Wide angle lens also influences the perspective of the shot. It depends completely on the location relative to the subject.

Let’s presume you are composing the shot of a pup, you are focusing on the pup which is in the foreground, right?  Now the background turns blurry, when you use wide angle lens.  The distance is compressed. See this example here.

100 words

Actually this is a post that I wrote when I came across a project on one of  the freelance sites, that I thought was challenging.  It was  challenging for two reasons.  One, I had to write about a technical aspect – a wide angle lens and two, in one hundred words.  Though I love photography it is limited to just admiring a good picture.  I wrote this post to let know the potential client that I am capable of handling these kind of projects too.  They involve research and I believe the client deserves the best effort.

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Ideal dress for your baby

“Children are a handful sometimes, A heart full all the time…”

During the first few weeks the baby‘s skin is soft and tender and is growing. It is rich with the hormones from it’s parents. This may cause some rashes which disappear after some time. These rashes do not cause any harm to the child. However it is advisable to have the opinion of the the gynecologist that delivered the baby or a pediatrician that is attending the baby.

Any cloth made of natural fiber is best. However cotton tops the list. Soft colors are ideal. Strong colors retain heat. So are best avoided.

Babies grow fast. The dress you choose for the baby should be a size large than her. It is ideal that you choose clothes that are easy to change. The neck opening should be large enough to help remove it over the head without any discomfort to the baby. It is better that the dress does not have any buttons for they can come off and cause unnecessary concern.

Baby’s fingers may get caught in the lace which adorn the dress. So it is best to avoid clothes with lace work. Though a lot of fancy dresses are available in the market they are best left alone. The stitching on the cloth should be soft.

Baby’s dress needs to be changed quite often. So make sure there are plenty of them available. Use a disinfectant while washing the baby’s clothes. Some disinfectants may irritate the baby. Look for those signs. Baby crying soon after dress change could be a reason. Dress that you choose for the baby need not require pressing. As long as the baby is comfortable with the dress you need not unnecessarily worry about it.

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Peter F Drucker


Peter F Drucker
The Mahaguru of Management

This is an article on Peter F Drucker the great man, this issue of LIFE SKILLS, DIKSUCHI carried. Let us see how the readers appreciate it. An other thing this week they carried a little appreciationfrom a few readers from Nalgonda.

As to ePADAM their appreciation was nice in the sense that they did like the way I am introducing the concept of learning the words through images/pictures, and various other formats. I am yet to find a response to the Cross Word. Let us wait for some time. Hopefully they’ll pick it up.

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