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Internet Purchases? Learn To Purchase Safely Online And Buy A Gift Without Fear

Updated on December 6, 2011

Learn to purchase safely on the Internet. Making Internet purchases can be a daunting exercise, particularly if you want to buy a gift or you aren't used to doing this. Perhaps you haven't been active online and are unsure of what to do. Maybe you distrust this new way of buying.

Don't feel overwhelmed by this process! Before you know it, you will be making purchases everyday and your confidence will grow.

In this article I will help build your confidence and teach you why you need not fret over this Internet thing. Yes, you need to be Internet wise, but whilst you are making your first steps, I will show you how to buy that gift for the people in your life, without the stress.

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Internet Purchases From Trusted Sites

Many people use search engines like Google, Bing and Ask Jeeves when searching for Internet purchases. Much of the hard work has been done for you automatically. A list will present itself to you. These will show your search word in bold. For this reason, it is important for you to input the right word in the search box in order to get the right search response.

Verisign - Trusted Websites

For example, it is no good searching for 'book', you need to say what type of book it is. If you want a gift basket, you need to search the right kind of gift basket, so search something like 'flower gift basket' or 'unusual gift basket'.

When you have searched for that special present and you find something your might be interested in, click on the link. If the site is not a trusted site, your browser will tell you - you will get a message telling you this. Unless you know what you are doing it might not be wise to continue. I am suggesting this to be over cautious.

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Example Of Trusted Site Warning Message

Buy A Gift And Be Savvy!

Sites like is a trusted site and you can pretty much buy a gift there without worrying about compromising your credit card and personal details. I do much of my shopping there and invariably get a good deal on most things.

As someone who is savvy when it comes to buying gifts, I do double check prices at sites like kelkoo - an item comparison website - just to make sure that the purchase price isn't too far off of best price. I don't want to over pay for a present, but I don't mind paying a little more for a good service, no quibble returns policy and quick delivery. I also appreciate the integrity of Amazon as a website when it comes to my personal details.

However, that doesn't mean to say that I don't buy from anyone else. I do, but, it is essential that payment is made over an encrypted website.

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Why Buy A Gift Over An Encrypted Website

Encryption is a technical word that describes a set symbols that make a complicated code. Think of this code as a complex key that changes its shape. The key hole (lets call this the payment compartment of the website) is always changing too. The information that is transferred (or your credit card details) through these mechanisms can not be hacked or cracked. If someone does manage it, they only get a small part of the information and there is not much they can do with this because they will not be able to obtain the whole of the code. Half a key doesn't make for unlocking a door, does it?

If you buy a gift through encryption, your credit card and personal information details is safe.

What Is An Encryption?

Make Sure You Purchase From Secure Sites

Make your Internet purchases from secure sites. These often display the VeriSign logo. You can see an example of this symbol at near the top of the page. You need to be able to click on the logo - if you can, then the symbol is genuine. This is providing a new window opens showing the website address of the site you are visiting. You need to check that the address is the same as the URL (address bar) at the top of your browser.

Look for htpps - This means that you are in a secured area and it is alright to enter your secure information, like credit card details, for example. Also check if there is a lock icon (see picture example) at the bottom of your screen. Just to be sure, see that the icon is on your browser and not on the site.

Now you are safe to make your Internet purchases, go ahead and buy a gift!

Choose A Payment Method For Your Gift Purchase

Now you are empowered to make that gift purchase, what method of payment will you use? Amazon and many other websites do take cheques, if you are still not sure of using a card. But really, you are web wise now and it is extremely rare for card transactions to go wrong. You are more likely to have credit details stolen from a hole in the wall or a transaction in a shop than you are the Internet!

To be doubly sure and secure, I always use a credit card. Many of these have guarantees for purchases online and, as long as you pay them off by the end of the month, there are generally no penalties. Some sites do add a surcharge for this, but you are generally forewarned of this fact during the transaction process.

Most credit cards are insured against identity theft and, should a purchase not arrive or there is a problem with the seller of the gift, then the credit card company will generally sort it out and refund you. Please check your individual credit card company that this is the sort of service they offer and always check for changes of use. There may also be a minimum excess applicable.

A debit card can be used but I see no benefit to this. It appears that you don't have the same rights when you pay via this method. Again, double check that this is the case for you. Terms and conditions change, so it is always worth investigating the facts.

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Now You Are Web Wise, Here Are Some Great Gift Ideas - Lucky You!

Now you are web wise and eager to make those Internet purchases, what ideas do you have for that perfect gift?  As a metaphor, are you all dressed up with nowhere to go?  Well, I have some great gift ideas that you might want to take a look at.  Not only have you been prepared for using the Internet in order to go shopping, you are getting some great ideas too?  Where is the work for you, eh?  Looks like your lucky day!  Take a look at these great gift deas by clicking on these links!

Your Life Has Just Got Easier - Go Now And Buy A Gift!

As an enlightened soul, making Internet purchases is not as hard as you first thought.  I hope that I have demystified this generally safe process for you - your life has just got easier!  No more standing in queues for that special item.  No more traipsing around the shops, bumping into people and getting hot and bothered with the stress.  The Internet will help you buy a gift that is special, safe and delivered to the comfort of your home.  How good is that?!

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    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Vocalcoach - now anyone can be confident on the Internet!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      What fabulous information for we who shop on line. Thank you very much. Looking forward to reading more by you. I am a fan! Thumbs up.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Shaz, Very helpful information for internet shopping.