How To Stay Safe When Shopping Online


Not long ago, people who needed to purchase holiday or birthday gifts had to get dressed and go to the store in order to do their shopping. Getting ready to go shopping and having to deal with crowds can literally drain all of your energy. Fortunately, online shopping is now an option. Read here for great advice on how to shop online.

If you frequently shop online, make sure your anti-malware is always top-notch and up-to-date. Large retailers are often the target of hackers and others unscrupulous people that will try to steal all your personal information. Look out for warning signs, and be sure you report any suspicious activity.

If you find a great product on your favorite site, search for it in a search engine before you buy it. Make note of the model number or brand, and do a quick search to make sure you can’t get it cheaper from somewhere else. You might be able to save a few dollars that way.

Compare products by browsing through many sites. It pays to comparison shop different products and brands unless you are determined to get a particular one. You should choose the product that provides your necessary features, and do comparison pricing on the product. You should return to the different online stores regularly to see new products.

Sign up for the website’s newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a discount or some type of deal when you sign up for their newsletter. Find out if there is a deal associated with signing up for the newsletter at any store you want to shop at.

When you want to shop at an online retailer, look for coupon codes on the web. Merchants usually provide digital coupons as an incentive to attract shoppers. Just type in the retailers name and the word “coupon” in a search engine, and you will be taken to coupon sites where you can get a code.

If an online vendor asks for your social security number, do not make any purchases for them. While your credit card information is needed, there is no need for a company to ask for your credit card information if you are shopping from them. In fact, you should report any business that asks for this information to the Better Business Bureau.

Use online shopping aggregation sites to help narrow your search. Google isn’t necessarily bad, but the results provided can sometimes make you feel you don’t know which site to start with. A search site such as will give you the online only results that you seek.

Remember to consider not only the item’s actual cost, but also how much will be charged for shipping. An item may cost a few dollars more at one site, but if they offer free shipping, it might end up being less expensive overall. If shipping prices aren’t listed up front, you can check on them by beginning the checkout process. The shipping cost will be shown before the order is complete.

Fortunately, shopping no longer requires having to drive or walk yourself to the nearest store and endure huge crowds. You can now shop from the convenience of your own home by shopping online. You are now aware of excellent advice on shopping online, so utilize them in order to enjoy the best deals. is committed to presenting high quality information to customers on various categories of products. The team of professionals who contribute these reviews will go through systematic study, analysis and comparison. The end result is the delivery of authentic and reliable information based on which customer can purchase a new product quite confidently. All the hard work will be done by as your #1 product review sites. As a customer, you will do the smart work to figure out a model and brand of your choice in an effortless manner. In addition to the existing products, new products will be added on a weekly basis.

New York is usually pretty crowded, but you can almost always find a place to be alone if you want to …
shopping review
Image by Ed Yourdon
This was taken at the northwest corner of Park Avenue and 75th Street…

In case you’re wondering, I have no idea what caused that dark, oval shadow-like thingy near the top of the picture. It looks like a balloon on a string, and I can assure you that I was not holding a balloon when I snapped the photo. But maybe someone else was … e.g., someone standing behind me.

It’s also worth noting that the photo was taken in the middle of the day, and during the winter season, the NYC sun is low in the sky, and pretty much in the southern part of horizon, shining very brightly in a northerly direction.

It was also bitter cold on this day in mid-December, though you would never know it by looking at the worker in the photo. But the bright sunlight helped, and there was no wind …

A technical note: I’ve recently attended a weekend photography course that showed us how to use various photo-editing apps on the iPad. I’ve used it on this image, with the "SnapSeed" app that used to be available as a standalone app on Mac desktop/laptop computers until Google bought the company (grrr).

In any case, I used the "HDRscape" functionality, and set the brightness to -25, saturation to +25, filter strength to +25, and smoothing to +25. The combination looked better than the other variations I tried, so that’s what I’ve uploaded here … though I’ve still got the original image on my desktop Mac. (Another small technical note: Snapseed is available on the Mac via the Chrome web browser, but not on Safari; and from my relatively brief review of the browser-based Snapseed, the "HDSscape" functionality simple does not exist. Sigh…)

One of my projects this week is to visit BestBuy, to see if I can find a combination of cables and adaptors that will allow my iPad to be connected directly to a 27-inch Cinema display that I currently use as a 2nd display with my iMac. Why BestBuy? Because the local Apple Store here on the Upper West Side of NYC told me that they had no such combination of cables and adaptors themselves. Feh. I’ll bet Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave right now … anyway, if I succeed, that might make it a little easier to start doing this iPad editing with a big screen. (Of course, an alternative would be to persuade Google to re-release the SnapSeed app on the Mac desktop; but I suspect that’s a lost cause.)

None of this is likely to make any difference to the folks who merely want to look at a picture and make a snap decision about whether they like it or not. But if you thought that I spent my time simply wandering up and down the street, pointing my camera at people, and uploading the resulting image without any additional effort … well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Note: I chose this as my "photo of the day" for Jan 13, 2014.

Note: this photo was published in a Mar 13, 2014 blog titled ”海市蜃樓 海市蜃楼 Mirage” / 寧 Serenity."


This set of photos is based on a very simple concept: walk every block of Manhattan with a camera, and see what happens. To avoid missing anything, walk both sides of the street.

That’s all there is to it …

Of course, if you wanted to be more ambitious, you could also walk the streets of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. But that’s more than I’m willing to commit to at this point, and I’ll leave the remaining boroughs of New York City to other, more adventurous photographers.

Oh, actually, there’s one more small detail: leave the photos alone for a month — unedited, untouched, and unviewed. By the time I actually focus on the first of these "every-block" photos, I will have taken more than 8,000 images on the nearby streets of the Upper West Side — plus another several thousand in Rome, Coney Island, and the various spots in NYC where I traditionally take photos. So I don’t expect to be emotionally attached to any of the "every-block" photos, and hope that I’ll be able to make an objective selection of the ones worth looking at.

As for the criteria that I’ve used to select the small subset of every-block photos that get uploaded to Flickr: there are three. First, I’ll upload any photo that I think is "great," and where I hope the reaction of my Flickr-friends will be, "I have no idea when or where that photo was taken, but it’s really a terrific picture!"

A second criterion has to do with place, and the third involves time. I’m hoping that I’ll take some photos that clearly say, "This is New York!" to anyone who looks at it. Obviously, certain landscape icons like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty would satisfy that criterion; but I’m hoping that I’ll find other, more unexpected examples. I hope that I’ll be able to take some shots that will make a "local" viewer say, "Well, even if that’s not recognizable to someone from another part of the country, or another part of the world, I know that that’s New York!" And there might be some photos where a "non-local" viewer might say, "I had no idea that there was anyplace in New York City that was so interesting/beautiful/ugly/spectacular."

As for the sense of time: I remember wandering around my neighborhood in 2005, photographing various shops, stores, restaurants, and business establishments — and then casually looking at the photos about five years later, and being stunned by how much had changed. Little by little, store by store, day by day, things change … and when you’ve been around as long as I have, it’s even more amazing to go back and look at the photos you took thirty or forty years ago, and ask yourself, "Was it really like that back then? Seriously, did people really wear bell-bottom jeans?"

So, with the expectation that I’ll be looking at these every-block photos five or ten years from now (and maybe you will be, too), I’m going to be doing my best to capture scenes that convey the sense that they were taken in the year 2013 … or at least sometime in the decade of the 2010’s (I have no idea what we’re calling this decade yet). Or maybe they’ll just say to us, "This is what it was like a dozen years after 9-11".

Movie posters are a trivial example of such a time-specific image; I’ve already taken a bunch, and I don’t know if I’ll ultimately decide that they’re worth uploading. Women’s fashion/styles are another obvious example of a time-specific phenomenon; and even though I’m definitely not a fashion expert, I suspected that I’ll be able to look at some images ten years from now and mutter to myself, "Did we really wear shirts like that? Did women really wear those weird skirts that are short in the front, and long in the back? Did everyone in New York have a tattoo?"

Another example: I’m fascinated by the interactions that people have with their cellphones out on the street. It seems that everyone has one, which certainly wasn’t true a decade ago; and it seems that everyone walks down the street with their eyes and their entire conscious attention riveted on this little box-like gadget, utterly oblivious about anything else that might be going on (among other things, that makes it very easy for me to photograph them without their even noticing, particularly if they’ve also got earphones so they can listen to music or carry on a phone conversation). But I can’t help wondering whether this kind of social behavior will seem bizarre a decade from now … especially if our cellphones have become so miniaturized that they’re incorporated into the glasses we wear, or implanted directly into our eyeballs.

Oh, one last thing: I’ve created a customized Google Map to show the precise details of each day’s photo-walk. I’ll be updating it each day, and the most recent part of my every-block journey will be marked in red, to differentiate it from all of the older segments of the journey, which will be shown in blue. You can see the map, and peek at it each day to see where I’ve been, by clicking on this link

URL link to Ed’s every-block progress through Manhattan

If you have any suggestions about places that I should definitely visit to get some good photos, or if you’d like me to photograph you in your little corner of New York City, please let me know. You can send me a Flickr-mail message, or you can email me directly at ed-at-yourdon-dot-com

Stay tuned as the photo-walk continues, block by block …

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