I buy most of what I need online. I have a "subscription" to dog food on Amazon, even boiught some suits from them. I by books online, and my wife buys shoes and music online. I bought a coat from Cabelas and T-shirts from Duluth Trading. As you can see, reputation of the online store is important to me. The key is caution. You have to secure your home network and computer. A PC tech can do that, but it can involve, for example, Microsoft security essentials and a scanner like AVG, a paid edition. Keep track of what you order. You should secure your PC anyway. One option would be to try stores you use anyway. For example Walmart.com or Sears.com. One caution is NEVER open an email offer not from a vendor you have signed up for (Sears, for example), never "click through" the ad or email. If an email loosk at all suspicious call the vendor but do NOT use the phone number in the email. CONSIDER THIS: take an Internet course from your local community college. It will be great fun, you will be in class with others who have the same questions, and you will be using the schools computers to experiment with.
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If done properly, yes, very safe. Always using a credit card is good precentative law and a good line of defense, since in the event of a dispute, it's VISA and Mastercard who can fight for you, rather than you needing a lawyer.
It's also wise to choose your business partners carefully, and only buy from big, US-based, reputable companies who value their reputation and will not want you, e.g., posting something negative about them on your Facebook page. In contrast, many Asian companies don't operate with the same care, since Asian countries don't have or don't enforce basic intellectual property laws and don't have basic consumer safety standards.
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My colleagues give good advice. Using PayPal is an alterntaive to using your credit card, and they have a very developed system of consumer complaints and protection.
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