best practices for shopping online

shopping onlineEcommerce has certainly boomed over the last decade, and it's now one of the primary ways in which we purchase products and services. But it surprises me that many people remain relatively ignorant about best practices for shopping on the Internet. This brief article will provide some guidance to help you make certain that you are not taking unnecessary risks when you shop on the Internet.

Let's start by talking about safe shopping. One of the primary risks you face when you buy things on the Internet is theft of personal information. To some extent, you are not in control of this, because a company's servers can be hacked. When this happens, your identity and personal information can be compromised through no fault of your own. But that doesn't mean you have to be completely vulnerable. You should make it a habit to routinely check your credit on sites like Credit Karma. By doing this, you will quickly know when something has gone awry, as you will start seeing strange things pop up on your credit report that you don't recognize. But you'll have to make a habit of checking your credit score fairly regularly. I recommend checking your Credit Karma once a week if you use this option. The good thing about Credit Karma is that it doesn't cost you anything.

If you can afford it, a better idea is to use a credit monitoring service like Equifax. This is an upgrade over free credit reporting websites, but it will cost you money in the form of a monthly charge. But in exchange for the charge, you can set things up so that you will be notified instantly when there is suspicious activity in your account. Therefore, even when your personal information is compromised because of reasons that are unrelated to your own actions, you will still be alerted as soon as something goes wrong.

Now, let's talk about things that you can do to keep your personal information safe. First and foremost, you should only shop at trusted stores. To some extent, you should already be aware of which stores are safe to shop at, based on reputation. Sites like Amazon, Overstock, and other widely known names use top-notch security software, so you can be relatively assured that your shopping experience at such stores will be safe for the most part.

The problem, however, is that oftentimes, you may want to purchase something from a smaller store. How can you be sure such stores are trustworthy? The easiest way is to look at your browser address when you're about to check out. If the store is using a secure connection so that nobody can snoop on the information you provide to the site, the address will start with an "https." Note that there is an "s" after http, and this is your indication that you are dealing with a secured connection.

Other things to look for a seals from places like Verisign that are shown on the home page. You can also go to sites like the one the Better Business Bureau has to see what their rating is. Finally, you can read store reviews by going to online shopping sites. No one thing will guarantee that an online store is safe, but using a combination of these methods, you can be relatively assured that the information you provide will not be stolen.

internet security softwareLastly, you should invest in a good internet security software program like Norton or Mcafee. Of the two, Norton is generally more highly regarded, as Mcafee does not block all threats as effectively as Norton does. But the most important thing is that you use some sort of security program. At a minimum, the program you use should do two things. First, it should have an anti-virus component that immediately detects and quarantines any dangerous files you might pick up while surfing the internet. Second, the program should have a firewall, which will further protect your computer from outside threats. Sometimes, a program will have a backup solution as well, but this is an additional feature that I don't think is 100% necessary. Programs that have a backup utility usually cost more, and I've found that if you have a good antivirus program and firewall, you'll rarely if ever need to worry about restoring files.

To get the best prices online, you should make a habit of checking prices at multiple stores. This may sound like a hassle, but it is not a hassle at all if you use websites and apps that are designed to help you compare prices across different online stores. Also, try to bookmark at least one major coupon website like Retailmenot, and check for coupons or promo codes before you buy something. You'd be surprised how often you can save money by taking this extra step.

Using Facebook to Find Coupon Codes for Dating

Online dating isn't always cheap, as the best dating sites such as Match.com can cost as much as $42 a month. Compared to the cost of bar hopping, this rate is not that bad, but some people still hesitate to pay money for a service when they aren't entirely sure if it will work for them.

online dating coupons

The solution for people like that is to find dating coupons to bring down the price of membership. But where can you find such coupons? This may surprise you, but you can actually get a lot of great dating coupons on Facebook. I recently used Facebook to locate a Match.com free trial. Unfortunately, the trial only lasts for 3 days, which is not a whole lot of time to try out a new site. Nevertheless, it's better than nothing and I believe it will still give me a pretty good idea of how well the site works. This should be enough to help me decide whether or not I want to pull out a credit card and spend money on a subscription plan. Use the following link to view the latest online dating offers.

In addition, to make sure you get the most out of your dating site memberships, I highly recommend that you read everything you can on the subject matter. There are many great advice columns and dating tips you can find all over the Web. While not all of them will offer the best advice, you can still get a lot of good information. Don't just read the articles - Instead, take notes, and incorporate what you learned. This is especially important when developing your dating profile.

Some Interesting Facts About Gamers

There is a popular misconception that the majority of gamers are male. While this may have been true at some point, I was surprised to learn recently that nowadays, female gamers outnumber male gamers, according to Pew Research. As the gaming industry has grown, they have apparently branched out to an extent where the appeal is strong for both genders.

Worldwide, the gaming industry has revenues over 101 billion dollars, dwarfing even the movie industry, which only has global box office revenues of $39 billion. With advancements in technologies such as virtual reality, it's likely the size of the gaming industry will grow even further. And it's notable to point out that today, the top video games have development budgets that are much larger than the most expensive Hollywood films. For instance, the game, Star Wars: The Old Republic was reported to have cost anywhere from $200 - $400 million dollars. Note that this figure is larger than the cost of the most recent Star Wars film.

But the expensive development costs also translate into more expensive games. Consumers today have to expect to pay $50 or more for new releases, even when they purchase such releases over the Internet. Younger gamers therefore could face a challenge when it comes to affording new games.

The best way to get around this, in my opinion, is to join Gamefly. Using this online service, you can rent as many games as you want (but only one or two at a time), and all you pay is a monthly fee, which currently starts around $15 a month. Therefore, for the cost of buying 3 games a year, you can play as many games as you'd like by paying for a Gamefly subscription instead. But before you jump on board, you can obtain a Gamefly free trial from the free trial site, Free Trial Spot.com. This will enable you to use the service for 1 month before being charged. You can of course cancel your subscription before that if you decide you don't want to keep the service. I think it's a good idea for any gamer to try out the service if they want to play more games without paying more money for games than they already do.

Match.com: How Well Does It Work?

dating coupleThe $64,000 question for anyone who is thinking of trying online dating is, does it work? This depends on several things, in my opinion.

The first major factor is which dating site you choose. Regardless of how much effort you are willing to put into online dating, if you choose the wrong site, you won't get very far. You must pick a site that first and foremost matches what you are looking for. For example, don't use a site that's meant for casual daters if your goal is marriage, and vice versa. Another thing to consider is how many members a site has. Today, there are hundreds of niche dating sites, but the problem is that many of them are small. If you join a small dating site, there may only be a handful of other members in your area. Needless to say, the chances of finding a match under such circumstances will be relatively low.

The second factor is of course how much effort you put in. On sites like Match.com, user involvement is a big part of how successful you'll be. You should log on every day and spend time messaging people, searching other profiles and getting involved with the community. Before you do that, however, you should ideally also do a bit of research on onlined dating instead of just "winging" it. This means reading articles about online dating that talk about things like how to write a good profile, how to approach people you are interested, and other similar topics. There is a certain amount of strategy that goes into successfully dating on the Internet. And much has been written with regards to the do's and don'ts of online dating. It behooves you to take advantage of all the free information that is available online about this subject matter.

Some people just don't end up putting in the work that is required if you want to get results with online dating. Could this be you? The best way to find out is by joining dating sites using free trial offers. The match.com free trial, for example, gives you full access to the site for 3 days. If this sounds good to you, just go to this link to get this deal: http://datingcoupons.net/freetrials/matchcom.php. Then, monitor your behavior during this time. If you find yourself logging on frequently, spending hours looking at other people's profiles, etc., then chances are good that you have what it takes to make the most of online dating.

 

Eharmony's Algorithm: How Powerful is It?

In my last article, I talked about how well Match.com works. Today, I'll be taking a look at one of Match.com's biggest competitors, Eharmony. You have no doubt heard of this dating site, as it is quite famous and features in numerous television commercials. But while both are dating sites, Eharmony differs from Match.com in quite a few ways.

girl dating on the eharmony site

The main difference is that Eharmony uses an algorithm to find matches on your behalf. This algorithm has been the subject of much debate, but it seems to be effective, as it has generated good results for Eharmony members, over a million of whom have gotten married. A recent news story revealed that the same algorithm is now going to be used by certain job sites to match job applicants to employers. It seems, therefore, that there is something to Eharmony's algorithm, and it has more than its share of believers.

No algorithm is perfect, but Eharmony's system is based on science (or more specifically, psychology). For many years, Psychologists has amalgamated the factors that lead to a successful relationship. Eharmony uses 29 dimensions of compatibility to find your ideal match.

But how does Eharmony even know who will be a good match for you? The answer is, they use answers that you provide to hundreds of questions that you must answer when you first join the site. The test, while a bit long, is definitely comprehensive, and does a good job of getting to the core of your personality. The one thing I'm unsure of, however, is whether this test is updated as scientists learn new things about relationships and compatibility. I have a feeling it is not, since the questions seem to be the same ones I saw a few years back. But I am not 100% sure on this point. If you want to see what the test is like, you can join Eharmony using a free trial offer. Don't worry, you don't need to provide credit card information and you won't be charged blindly. To get the free trial, simply go to http://onlinedatingtrials.com/eharmony.php.

Since it's free to join Eharmony and take the test, I think the best way to judge how well Eharmony works is to sign up for a free account and start receiving matches. Then, read the profiles of the people you are matched with. If you find them interesting and feel like chatting with them, then that is a good sign that Eharmony is working its magic. On the other hand, if your matches do not interest you in any way, shape, or form, then maybe the Eharmony system isn't right for you, and you may be better off using a different dating site.

Some Cool Things You Can Do With Bitcoin

bitcoin gambling sites

Bitcoin has become highly popular, and today there are millions of people who use it. But for the most part, it's just another way to pay for goods or services, and it's still questionable if it has much value to the vast majority of people. That said, here are a few interesting things you can do with bitcoin.

1. Invest
Make no mistake, investing in bitcoin can be highly speculative, and the price volatility is probably too much for most people to stomach. That said, there is a potential the price will skyrocket if it becomes widely used. Therefore, people who like to speculate, and want to invest in something cutting edge may want to take a look at investing in some bitcoins. There is a bitcoin ETF (ticker: GTBC) you may want to consider if you don't want to own bitcoin yourself but want to invest in it.

2. Mine
This is one of the major ways in which people make bitcoin. To "mine" bitcoin, you'll need a high-power computer called an ASIC to solve complex math problems which in turn will allow you to create new bitcoin. The cost of running such computers, however, is quite high since they drain a lot of electricity. It's also important to note that mining is not as profitable as it once was, and a lot of mining is dominated by large companies that have shelves and shelves of high-powered machines that run 24/7.

3. Gamble
If anonymous gambling sounds appealing to you, you can sign up with a bitcoin casino and use gamble online with bitcoins. Right now, there are just a handful of online casinos that accept bitcoin, but this number is bound to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. You can view some casinos where you can play bitcoin slots and other games by going to bitcoinvideogame.com. At most casinos, you can play dozens of games, including many favorites like video poker, slots, poker, and many other casino games.

4. Purchase regular goods and services
More and more retailers online are beginning to accept bitcoin, so you can buy regular goods and services using bitcoin. One advantage of doing this is that the transaction fees for using bitcoin are much lower than the fees you'd pay when you use traditional payment methods like Paypal or credit cards. It's only a matter of time until just about every major retailer will accept bitcoin as a form of payment. We may still be years away from that, but that day is almost certain to come.

Online Dating Still Has a Ways to Go

We are all familiar with popular dating sites like Zoosk, Christian Mingle, Eharmony, and Match.com. Some of us may even know couples who have met using such sites. But if we are to believe statistics from places like Pew Research, there is still quite a bit of resistance to online dating.

A decade ago, 29% of the population thought that only desperate people use dating sites. While the number of people who believe this has fallen, a recent poll revealed that 23% of those polled still thought of dating sites as something used by the desperate members of society. That's only a drop of 6% in ten years, and it seems online dating still has some stigma attached to it. I suspect the numbers will continue to fall, but it seems the views on online dating are changing at a glacial pace.

Among young people (18-24), dating site usage has gone up quite a bit, from 10% to 27% in the last ten years. Overall, about 20% of the population has tried online dating. That means 80% of the population, which is an overwhelming majority, has not tried online dating all.

As some recent Match.com commercials (see below) have shown, many people who have not tried online dating could not articulate a reason for their reluctance to try online dating. Given a nudge, however, these same people seemed more than willing to give Match.com a try.

 

Therefore, if you have not joined a dating site, I think it may be a good move to visit Couponleaf.com and get a 3-day Match.com free trial so that you can see for yourself what you've been missing. It's easier to try online dating if you don't have to pay anything upfront, and using a free trial offer is the best way to do this.

Getting Started with Ecigs

I'll be honest -- getting started with ecigs can be quite the confusing ordeal. When I first got started, I read numerous articles, and still couldn't put it all together. You'll hear terms like coils, atomizers, variable voltage, and propylene glycol. It was only after vaping for a while that it all started to make sense to me.

 

The key is not to try sweat over things in the beginning. I recommend buying a simple, small e-cigarette with only two components: the battery and the cartomizer. This way, you can get started quickly. The best starter kit for this type of e-cigarette (sometimes called a "cigalike" because they resemble ordinary cigarettes) is the Volcano Magma Starter Kit. Don't make the mistake of buying a cheap ecig when you start, as this can taint your perception of ecigarettes. The Volcano brand, on the other hand, is a trusted brand that offers top-notch ecigarettes that you cannot go wrong with. Ecigarettes on the whole are much cheaper than regular cigarettes, but if you have limited funds, you can search for a Volcano ecigs coupon code. This can often save you 10% of more on your purchases.

While using the smaller ecigs like the Magma, the only real decision one must make is what flavor cartridges to order. A bit of experimentation is necessary to find the flavors you like. But if you're trying to quit smoking, it's recommended that you select the tobacco flavors since that will make the transition from cigarettes to ecigs easier.