If the World Wide Web scares the bejeezus out of you, don’t watch the USA series Mr. Robot. The show revolves around a computer programmer, Elliot (Rami Malek)), who works as a cyber security engineer during the day, but at night he is a vigilante hacker. His task is to take down corporate America including, the very company he is supposed to be protecting which gives the young Elliot a moral dilemma.
He is continually haunted by Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) who gives instructions and coaxes the young hacker to do things he wouldn’t normally do. The show is only an example of how easily computer systems can be tampered with.
In the wake of Mr. Robot’s hacking culture, entering your credit card number online has become a frightening proposal. However, there are ways to protect yourself. Use familiar websites rather than search engine shopping. Always look for the SSL lock – no lock, no shopping. Don’t give your Social Security Number to anyone. Finally, invest in your security. There is a host of identity protection companies who will put your mind at ease as you cruise the internet for deals.
Online shopping used to be unheard of, but as we entered the twenty-first century it began to gain popularity. Nowadays, it has become as common as just swiping your app. The reason for its worldwide acceptability comes down to three basic motives: price, convenience, and selection.
But there is an art to online shopping that only a handful of consumers know about. To get the best price on an item, you first need to know where to look. Then you need to know the value of the item and how much it has been marked up by a retailer. Finally, how much you should pay.
Prices are generally lower at online shops that do not have a physical location because they are online exclusively. They don’t have to pay rent and are able to pass along the savings to the consumer.
You do need to be careful when shopping at these types of stores and while they are probably legitimate, check their client feedbacks and testimonials to ensure other shoppers have gotten their merchandise in a timely manner and have been satisfied with the quality.
Although you are generally going to pay more at brick and mortar stores that have an online shopping presence such as Nordstrom.com and Macys.com, these stores are aware that there is more competition than ever and are responding with lower prices and more sales.
For example, Nordstrom used to have two sales a year – the Anniversary Sale and the Half Yearly Sale. Since they have been competing online, they now have sale items daily where you can buy merchandise for up to 65% off. Macy’s has bi-weekly sales and if you ever pay full price here, you’re literally flushing money down the toilet.
Unless you have shopped with catalogs or on shopping networks, then you have never experienced a more convenient way to shop. You have access to literally millions of items at your fingertips when shopping online.
Want to compare products? It’s just a couple of keystrokes away to ensure you’re getting the best price on an item. Plus, there are no crowds to deal with and you can shop anytime your mood strikes. And thanks to smartphones, you can purchase a pair of Allen Edmonds Spectator shoes while waiting in line at the DMV.
The selection has never been better in the history of shopping because you now have millions of products to choose from. You can literally find anything you are looking for, right down to brand and price. For example, there was a time that I desperately wanted a paisley printed jacket made of silk for under $500. So, I googled exactly what I was looking for and came up with ten matches and actually paid well below my target price.
One of the best places to shop online is eBay because of selection, price, and convenience. While you have the option to bid on items, a majority of eBay stores have a "buy it now" option as well. I generally mix it up, bid on some items and buy others outright. The secret to bidding on an item and winning, it is by bidding above the retail price. For instance, if an item has a starting bid of $.99 but retails for $69.99 wait until the last few seconds of the auction and bid $70. Whatever the last highest bid was is the price you will pay for the item.
I have filled one closet with nothing but eBay purchases. A few examples of what I’ve gotten are a red Versace blazer for $535, a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes for $100, a Hugo Boss suit for $449 and a Movado watch for $165. To put this in perspective, If I had shopped at retail stores for all these items, it would have cost me roughly $2989. You do the math.