Getting Cyber Mugged?

Secure Online Shopping:

da internet policemanWhen it comes to credit card security my man is just as protective as an angry Rottweiler, and to be respectful I have to say that is a good thing. Around October when I would succumb to my online Christmas shopping needs he just couldn’t stop winging about the perils of cyber-crime and bad people. Yes, crime in any form is really not very nice, and protecting your identity and credit in this day and age is both prudent and necessary. However when self-protection turns into a blind belief in unreasonable myth I have to draw the line, and one of the worst myths in recent years pertains to online shopping being continually unsafe. I’ve been shopping online for roughly 10 years, 5 more years than I’ve spent as a married woman. Not once, even back in the days of the “Wild Wild West” (internetally speaking :-)) has anything untoward happened to my bank accounts. My credit is still picture perfect, and nobody is living in Paris buying a villa under my name.

My husband is a different story. He wouldn’t open his wallet online to save his own life – until 2 years ago when I finally convinced him to give it a try. Now he can’t stop!! It’s a bittersweet victory for me though, as I used to have so much fun laughing at him once Christmas Eve came. I always knew that on 10 am, December 24 he’d be on a mad dash to the mall for some last minute gift. I could also expect that infamous “call from the mall”, with a frantic man screaming “There’s nothing left here!”, or “this place is a madhouse!!”. That was always my cue to start the kettle for a nice chamomile tea to help him calm down once he got back home. 3 years ago the chamomile was replaced with a healthy dose of egg nog and a back rub, because apparently he went head to head with an impatient grandmother over the last good PS2 title at Sears. He lost miserably. I think that’s what convinced him online shopping was a safe bet.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a million horror stories regarding the evils of shopping online and they always precede the “it’s not secure” speech, but I’ve just never had any problems, and I’ve been doing it since it was possible. In 2002 I did have a problem with a gift being out of stock but thanks to a very courteous website, the substitute product suggested was even more perfect then the one I had initially ordered.

We’ve all heard these comments before, yes?:

  • Your credit card information is vulnerable!
  • You can have your identity stolen!
  • Criminals can get your home address when you shop online!

Every reason listed is nothing more than the myth of the insecure internet in action. In this day and age we have just as much chance of being mugged in a shopping mall as we do having our sensitive info stolen online by some ingenious hacker with a motive. Simply put, secure ordering online is exactly that, secure. The measures that companies have incorporated in their online purchase options have become extremely sophisticated and I am living proof that they can be trusted. There are precautions to take, just as there are precautions in the real world. You don’t go outside with a neon sign wrapped around you that says “I’m carrying $5 000.00 please steal it”, and likewise you wouldn’t shop online without the necessary protection. You can look at my recommendations for internet security to find out how best protect yourself.

All in all, online Christmas Shopping is safe, secure, and fun. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself!



Online Christmas Shopping, What Are You Waiting For?


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Welcome to my online Christmas shopping guide. I was planning on sharing my views about shopping online last year, but work got the best of me. Now that I’ve semi-retired and WordPress looks so nice, I think it’s time to go ahead and share my experiences shopping for Xmas gifts without ever leaving my house.

I have to start off with a call to everyone reading … please send me your worst Christmas shopping excuses ever! I would love to hear them and they may even end up in a publication other than this blog!! I’m looking for anything like what you see below – these are examples but feel free to include anything amusing and even a bit sarcastic 😉 (Just please try and be tasteful)

  • Shopping is to life as etch and sketch is to art
  • I never know what to buy someone!
  • I never have time to shop for people!
  • Shopping malls are crazy!
  • Traffic is too bad, I’ll just send money.
  • No self respecting hermit would be caught dead at a mall
  • I tried to wrap up my cat but she scratched me
  • The dog ate my wrapping paper (and the cat)
  • I couldn’t shop because I’m in maximum security lock up


What has shopping online done for me?

  1. I’ve found deals I would never find shopping in malls.
  2. All my Christmas shopping was completed before December 1.
  3. Having time to research what my friends like, I always received praise on ingenious gift choices.
  4. I have had much more time to enjoy the holidays with my loved ones.
  5. I get a more personalized experience, and normal reminders on sales and deals that never come from “snail” shopping.


Becoming an I-Detective:

I have been hooked on general gift shopping via my web portal even more lately. As more and more people list their interests online at various social sites it becomes more and more easy to personalize the gift you give. Things are so much easier when you have your friends Facebook profile in front of you. To be honest I have become somewhat of a “gift detective” over the years, thanks to the internet, and I will reveal my “secret P.I. methods” in future posts.

All in all, shopping for Xmas presents online is my new favorite thing to do during the season, so when someone insinuates that it’s no fun to shop online they are mad as a hatter. It is a great deal of fun when I look up my friends interests on various social sites and other networks and match their gift with remarkable focus. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the expression “how did you know I wanted that?” Of course I always respond with a casual “I’m psychic”, as it makes me look oh so mysterious. 😉 If this holiday season has you wondering where you can find time to get out and shop for the people you love, try a little online Christmas shopping. I can guarantee you will enjoy yourself and get much more satisfaction than you think.