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Useful Information

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The following information is adapted from our shopguide.com.au website.

This is general common sense information and observations regarding buying goods from websites on the internet.

The following comments are our own opinions and have no legal bearing. Remember to always use your own judgement when doing business over the Internet or by phone.

Purchasing over the internet?

Before purchasing from any site, read their terms and conditions, take special note of their return and warranty policies and make sure they keep any details in a secure database. Most sites have a clearly marked FAQ/your security section. Also make sure there is on option to ensure they do not pass on your personal details to any third party - most decent sites will have this option already checkboxed on their order form.

Credit Cards:
Most online shop sites offer credit card payment systems. Always ensure that the payment process is encrypted - the lock or key symbol in the lower status bar of your internet browser should indicate this. If in doubt, most sites offer quite good FAQ pages (frequently asked questions), additionally Microsoft and Netscape both offer good help files regarding online security. If the site does not provide a secure payment system, don't use it! Ring them if in doubt - if you can't ring because they don't provide a phone number then maybe another site can provide the same product.

Note: Australian merchants are now able to charge you a fee for using a credit card (as of Jan. 2003). This has traditionally been absorbed by the merchant. If they do charge this, the fee may be around 3% of the transaction value.

B-Pay:
Some sites now offer payment by B-Pay. This is great news for people who don't like or don't have a credit card. You basically fill out the order online and chose this method of payment. They'll send you the necessary biller codes and you can then complete the payment using your online banking facility or by your bank's phone B-Pay system. This system is a winner in my books!

Other forms of payment?

Some online shops will also offer payment by CC over the phone, payment by cheque or direct bank transfer. In my opinion a secure encrypted CC order over the internet is safer than a phone CC payment.
I do not recommend you ever send your CC details by email!


Other issues?

Some issues also arise if the site holds your credit card details in a database or not. Many sites should do the direct bank approval system where your details go directly to the bank for approval and are not stored in a database. Others may store your credit card number but this should be in a separate secure sever and not with your other personal details. Most web sites should have a section on how they manage this information available in their FAQ's section.

Search Engines?
Although not a direct concern of this web site, I have found that many people do not know the basics of using a search engine - they complain that they cannot find anything! The one most effective thing that I can educate people about in this respect is to search for a phrase. To do this, put what you are searching for into a phrase by using quotes around it! ie: - Australian red wine - might return 80 000+ results. By using quotes "Australian red wine" around the words, you instruct the search engine to find that phrase - you might be surprised to find only 800 results with more relevance. Most search engines have this feature and there are many more rules that can be applied - you can always use the advanced search page for more options.

You'll find links to a few of the best search engines (for Australian users) in the column to your right.

Spam email
It's the scourge of the internet. Dubious people use software to trawl the internet for valid email addresses or you're on an email list which has been sold to others.

Delete this stuff and as a rule and if any offer seems too good to be true, it usually is! Many ISP's are now installing software to filter out most spam mail. Talk to your ISP or visit their web site for further information and make sure your anitvirus software is up to date.

 

Usefull Stuff:

Get Mozilla! - It's free.
This web browser is a great alternative to using Internet Explorer.

Recommended Antivirus Software:
Network Associates McAfee
highly recommended particularly their network VirusscanASaP

Search Engines:
google.com.au
whereis.com.au

yahoo.com.au
answers.com.au
looksmart.com.au

Weather
Bureau of Meteorology

 

 

  Feature links:

Home and Garden Showcase

Not an online shop but a great source of info. for home renovators and new home builders find out more


 

             
 
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