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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Aim, Time, Shoot

Basel Accurist‘s wristwatches exemplify the legacy of  centuries old watchmaking and precision time.  Basel Accurist now proudly presents you the synergies of traditional experiences and the best of the cutting-edge technology of the day.  Huntr represents them both. We present you now the best of both worlds of horology and chronometry. Huntr , with its straight lines and intricate design makes the pursuit of your hunt a pleasure. Accuracy and precision are the hallmarks of Huntr .  With its patented ‘movements’  Huntr is the perfect accessory for your gallant personality. Huntr is the original wristwatch, for the sharp, shooting eye.

This limited edition masterpiece will be especially delivered by hand.

Huntr, created by Basel Accurist

Huntr, created by Basel Accurist

Image courtesy: Internet Stock Photography

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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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How to: Customize your signature in GMail

Yes.  You can now customize your signature in GMail.  This is a feature that I had been waiting for GMail to introduce.  There were times when I wanted to introduce my services with a few links to content to my clients on Elance, Guru and oDesk, the freelance sites where I am active. One of those Firefox addons that I used was Wisestamp.  The problem with it was if people were accessing mails through their Outlook, Evolution or Mozilla’s Thunderbird or other mail clients they were unable to read my custom signatures.  Wisestamp displays my latest posts when I added my RSS feed to it.

Tip: How to customize your GMail Signature

Customize your GMail signature

You can customize your GMail signatures now.

Click on the image to view large

All you have to do is log into your GMail account (Created an account here if you do not have one) and login.  Click on settings tab that you find on your right top hand side.  There under the general tab, scroll down and you will find the Signature box. Now you will see a rich text editor.  Enter the text like your name, a designation with other contact details.  You can format the text, add links and insert images to add more value to your signatures.

Images You cannot add images from your desktop.  However you can add images from the web.  In case you want to add a logo or a specific picture, I suggest that you upload to your Picasa or Flickr account.  Add tags to the image.  Copy the link to the image and add it in the Web Address URL box that pops up when you click on the insert image icon.  If the image is small and the URL you entered is correct, it shows up almost immediately.  Save your settings.  Now click on the compose mail link and in your mail composing box, you should be able to see your signature in all its glory.  To edit it, you need to go to settings and tweak it.

In case you already have multiple custom addresses, you can create a unique signature for each address.

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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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