10 Tips To Safe Online Shopping

The internet has changed our buying habits. Many people have found the convenience of online shopping to be a great experience. You can easily click and see the product. You have a fun time shopping, browsing, reading and getting informed about products. And you don’t have to take time out from your busy schedule to fight traffic, crowds and lines to buy the perfect gift for your recipient.

No wonder Internet business generated $301 billion in revenue last year, by a University of Texas estimate.

If you compare shopping online to offline you would think as far as security goes, it would favor offline shopping, right? Not really.

In the years past, shoppers were more reluctant to do their shopping online – now things have changed greatly. And that confidence in consumers directly reflects the enormous growth of online sales.

I have a friend who took his wife out for a romantic evening to a local restaurant. The last place you would expect credit card fraud to happen. By the time he noticed they had charged him double the amount for their dinner, it was too late to go back to the restaurant. He rang me and we concluded that it must be a mistake. It was later that we found out that the restaurant owner’s reputation was a bit shaky. Apparently he frequently overcharged customers in the hope they wouldn’t notice.

I don’t know. It’s a funny world we live in.

Does this mean the internet is safe? Relatively yes, but don’t forget, the Internet is an open field and there are some bad elements out there.

We have been shopping online for years. We never had a problem with credit card fraud on the Internet. But then again, we always take precautions. From this point forward, you will see 10 checkpoints online merchants have to pass to secure our business…

Will your credit card details be safe?

Reputable companies online know that one of the things preventing customers from placing orders with them is customers not been sure whether their credit card details will be safe. Responsible companies have taken this concern onboard and have set up their systems to provide the customer with maximum security.

How would you know if you are entering your payment details on a secure page?

You should see a picture of a lock on the bottom right hand side of your screen. This lock will appear on the page that you fill in when ordering and ensures that your name, address and credit card information is being sent to the online store through encrypted code. This encrypted code means that a hacker will not be able to steal your credit card information.

Does the online store value your privacy and confidentiality?

Prior to the internet days, when I used to order something from a mail order company, mysteriously I would be sent advertising from companies that I hadn’t done business with. Back then I didn’t know that companies sold your personal information for advertising purposes to other companies.

Receiving junk mail was annoying but because of the cost involved, it didn’t happen constantly. Imagine now if you do business online with a company that doesn’t respect your privacy and sells your email address.

Next time you open your email software, you are bombarded with emails ranging from a dozen to hundreds. Now that’s not annoying – it’s intolerable.

So moral of the story here, make sure your email address won’t be sold. Ensure the online store has a privacy statement which would state they will maintain your personal details in the strictest privacy and confidentiality.

Does the online store have contact details?

You may think, of course an online store would display their contact details on their website. You would be surprised. I was. No email address, nothing. This is a sure red flag.

Reputable companies will have contact details.

Do they have a refund policy?

Offline stores have a refund policy and you go into the store, physically select the product and are then allowed to return it for whatever reason. If a refund policy is important in offline stores, it’s twice as important for online stores.

The internet in convenience surpasses the offline world when it comes to shopping – but one thing it can’t match is that offline you can physically touch the product. Therefore a refund policy of 30 days is great, more is better. No refund policy and I would stay away.

Do they send you some sort of confirmation when you place your order?

When you place your order what you need is something to tell you they have receive it, a receipt if you like.

A reputable company will either issue you one via email or display a new page of their website where they thank you and tell you the order went through okay and your product is on its way.

When do they deliver?

What times do they deliver during the day? Do they deliver on the weekends? Can you choose a time to have your gift delivered? Will it be delivered personally to the recipient intended or will the courier leave it outside their door?

How will your gift arrive?

If its flowers, will it come with a vase or in a nice box or wrapped? Will your bouquet contain flower care instructions? How about flower food to make your flowers last longer?

If you’ve ordered another gift product, will they wrap it? In what kind of material will they deliver it? Do they tell you these things on their website?

How long have they been in business?

This may not mean too much. There are companies that start off and surpass all others. But perhaps for your peace of mind, you may want to use an online store that has been in business for some years. To check the history of the company is easy.

You can go to networksolutions.com and click on “whois” on the top bar. You will be taken to a page where you can enter the web address of the online store you want to check and you will receive the relevant information.

Is the online store’s site easy to use?

Is navigating easy? Is looking for products easy? Do their graphics download in a reasonable time? A sure sign of an amateur sight is if they have their website cluttered with information.

Have they gotten any bad reviews?

A reputable company isn’t necessary one that hasn’t any bad reviews to its name. It’s virtually impossible to please everyone.

There have been companies I have bought from and absolutely loved. So it surprises me sometimes when I stumble on a bad review about their products or even bad comments about them.

So when is a bad comment about a company worth considering? I take note of reviews where the writer complains of:

  • not receiving the product
  • not receiving a refund
  • not having their emails answered

If you want to see what kind of reviews a company may have, click on alexa.com. When you get to the website, type in the address of the store you want to check out. This will also show you how long the company has been in business.

Online shopping is fun. Take a little care and make it an experience! Happy shopping!

Improve Your Lifestyle With A Coach


The impression of a coach standing in a tracksuit beside the rugby field watching a bunch of sweaty rugby players is one of the past. There is a new breed of coaches assisting people to achieve a more positive lifestyle and reaching their dreams.

What is Life Coaching:

Life coaching is a new profession. Life coaching started in the late 1990’s, and is now popular with people in all walks of life.

Life coaches act as a support base and listening post to assist you in achieving what it is you want out of life. Coaches do not tell what to do, they get you to question your present way of life and attitude to life. Based on your response, they help you set goals whilst providing tools, support and a structure to accomplish more.

A life coach can help you:

• Adapt to change.
• Reassess your lifestyle.
• Simplify your life.
• Reduce stress and have more fun.
• Institute a fitness or weight loss programme.
• Improve the quality of your personal and professional life.
• Live a more balanced life.

However, life coaches are not therapists. They don’t work on the past, or ‘issues’. Coaches believe that the client is a whole person and that everybody has the inner ability to produce, change and grow. Carl Rogers believed that individuals ‘are creators and artists of their lives’.

Life coaches therefore can’t help you:

• Manage depression.
• Overcome addiction.
• Deal with any sort of disorder.
• Come to terms with serious past issues like sexual abuse.

Therapy and Coaching:

A good way to view the foundational differences between therapy and coaching is to think of two cars driving along a sandy, wave washed shoreline.

One car hits a log and breaks an axle, sinking deep into the sand.

The other car swerves to keep from hitting the log, but in so doing sinks into the sand.

For the first car, the only hope is a tow truck and a week in the shop. It is broken and cannot go further. This is a therapy patient.

The second car merely needs a push, a little traction under its wheels, and it continues its race across the sand. This is the coaching patient.

How it works:

Coaching these days is done –

Face to face (Depending on distances).
Chat email.

You will initially have an introductory session with your coach. At this meeting your blocks, goals and the platform for the course is agreed upon. After this, coaching is done over the phone or one of the other electronic means, once a week for half an hour. You may be asked to commit to a minimum number of sessions, after which you can continue for as long as you wish.

Finding a coach

To find a coach, visit the Coaches and Mentors of South Africa web site (COMENSA) at http://www.comensa.org.za.

Before choosing your coach, ask for a free introductory session to see if you click with your coach. Remember that you are looking for someone who asks the right questions, listens and has empathy. Avoid people who make unrealistic promises and ignore your own needs and feelings.

By Rob Lindegger

Which Gold Bracelet Would You Choose?

A gold bracelet is a timeless piece of jewellery that you can wear over again with a variety of outfits and to many different social events. You could also wear it every day. But which one would you choose? A gold bracelet seems like a pretty basic piece of jewellery to choose when buying one, however these days with all the different styles and designs available, choosing the right one for yourself or someone else could seem tricky and time consuming. However, it really is just a matter of choosing the gold purity, style/design and gold colour.

The purity of a gold bracelet is measured in carats or K. The higher the value in carats, the higher the value of the bracelet. There are variations in gold carats from 1 carat up to 24 carats which is considered pure gold. The most common carats used for gold jewellery are 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K and 24K. We would recommend sticking to 9K-18K gold for your bracelet, as 24K can be a bit too malleable and if bumped too hard it can change shape and get dints.

There are countless styles and design types to choose from. The choice you make should really reflect your tastes, and will depend on when you’ll be wearing your gold bracelet and how often you’ll be wearing it. Another feature to think about is whether you’ll choose a trendy bracelet or a bracelet with a classic style. There are styles with unique chain links and some that have charms attached. They also come in designs with large flat surfaces that have patterns on them or shiny surfaces that have the potential to be engraved. A great gold bracelet design to give as a gift is a cuff as it generally fits anyone and you don’t need to know the size of the wearer’s wrist.

There are gold plated, hollow gold and solid gold bracelets. The solid ones are heavier than other types, but most people get used to the extra weight and after a short while don’t notice it anymore. Solid gold bracelets are great for people who plan to wear their bracelets often as they are much more resistant to wear-and-tear than hollow gold and gold plated bracelets, hollow gold can squash easily when bumped hard and gold plated bracelets tend to tarnish quite quickly.

When it comes to choosing the colour of your gold bracelet, well you’re on your own. This comes down to personal taste. Some people love white gold and others don’t as they find people confuse it with sterling silver. There are different colours of gold to choose from, the most common being yellow gold, white gold and rose gold. Some jewellers also offer green gold and black gold – these colours might be for the more adventurous types.

Your choice of gold bracelet should really reflect your personality or the wearer’s personality. It is also a good idea to think about when the bracelet is going to be worn, and if it will be worn often then it would be a good idea to choose one that’s made of solid gold.

Is Laser Removal of Hair a Perpetual Remedy For Smooth Hairless Skin?

Only some of us are blessed with smooth skin. Some of us go through life suffering excess hair on our legs, chest, arms, face and other parts of our body. Unsightly hair can affect the quality of your social life. In fact, you may be one of those who is embarrassed to wear shorts or bikinis because you have an abundance of body hair. Don’t fret, my friend, home laser hair removal solutions are here to resolve your problems.

So what precisely is laser hair removal?

It is a medical process in which a laser is used to remove hair from various parts of the body. Laser hair removal is medically permitted and though it is not permanent it has the ability to cut back the regrowth of hair.

There are several types of lasers utilized during this procedure. The laser emits a single wavelength of intense light. This light targets the melanin within the hair follicle. The superheat from the laser-light destroys the hair and causes it to fall out and keeps it from growing back quickly.

The esthetician generally applies a cooling agent on the skin before starting the procedure. This protects the region from the heat of the laser beam being used, so that the only thing touched is the hair. This cooling agent is applied through the tip of a laser removal gadget or it may be sprayed on the skin.

When you experience laser hair removal remedy, a laser device that produces high-energy light targets the melanin pigment within the hair shaft long enough to heat up your hair but not too long to destroy the surrounding skin.

Laser treatments could be from three to seven sessions with an interval of four to eight weeks interval. Maintenance treatments are usually requisite after the initial treatment procedure to fully stop hair growth in the area. The interval for the maintenance treatments will keep increasing till you no longer require them. Treatments however vary from one individual to another.

If you are you looking at buying home laser hair removal gadgets then the following suggestions should be handy:

Tip 1. Home Laser Hair Removal devices come with three (sometimes 4) settings – low, medium and high. Without exception set the level to the lowest setting when you get started basically to be on the safe side.

Tip 2: Never use home laser hair removal devices for treating facial hair. In preference, visit a verified dermatologist or laser technician before you actually consider it.

Tip 3: Observe all instructions on the device as thoroughly as possible.

Tip 4: Measure up the time and money you would have to pay if you did the actual procedure at a laser clinic rather than order an at home laser hair removal device. If the home intervention makes sense to you then follow your heart.

We are all built uniquely and what feels good and comfortable for one will be a totally dangerous venture for another!

Of course, for most of us, the topmost determining factor is going to be cost. Laser hair removal is undoubtedly not inexpensive for the average wage maker. However, if you work in an industry where you need a lot of personal grooming the price tag may well be deserving the time-saving benefits from laser hair removal. Furthermore, if you have trouble with excessive or abnormal hair growth eg beard growth on women, laser hair removal is an all-out life transforming experience.

In general the price tag per session for laser hair removal is in the region of $500 per session. Most people would need at least 4 treatment sessions. One laser session cannot produce permanent long-term removal. To ensure permanent removal, additional treatments are needed depending on the individual’s rate of hair growth in the affected area. Larger area’s eg. full legs or back will be more pricey than smaller areas eg. upper lip. Every center will have different prices so it will pay to contact a few and contrast the price and services they have to offer.