Tip of the Week
If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season - perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.
However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they're concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don't trust businesses with their personal information.
For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.
2. Adjust your privacy settings. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust your cookies and make your computer more protected and cut down on inadvertent data leakage. However, be prepared to spend some time doing this, and remember that each browser is different. If you use multiple browsers on multiple computers, you'll need to configure them all to your preferences. If making those changes is beyond the scope of your technological knowledge, you can try asking for help from a savvy friend or family member, or an electronics store employee might be able to help.
3. Look for privacy verification seals. Perhaps the easiest, quickest way to ensure that an online retailer is trustworthy is to look for seals and logos certifying a website's privacy practices, such as the green TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. It's an easy at-a-glance way to get an idea of how dedicated a retailer is to protecting its customers, but keep in mind that if you want to learn more, you can click on the seal to get more detailed information about the sites privacy practices. There are also browser add-ons that can help you find e-commerce sites that carry the seals, and an online directory of participating websites that you can browse.
Job hunters may get an early present this year as retailers look to increase the number of hires during the holiday season. The Better Business Bureau offers tips on how to land a seasonal job.
- Start the job search asap. The key to landing a seasonal job is to start searching early. Retail, shipping, restaurants and catering companies are common sources of seasonal employment. Now is the time for job hunters to determine which job suits them best, identify companies they would like to work for and then begin submitting applications and resumes.
- Research companies prior to submitting job applications. Always check out the company's BBB Business Review for free at www.bbb.org to see if the company has received a passing grade from the BBB and a record of taking care of consumers. Also, never give your credit card or checking account information to an individual or business that promises employment. Legitimate employers never charge fees to prospective employees.
- Work where you shop. Try to identify seasonal employment with businesses you actually shop at or frequent. You will already be familiar with the company and its products and discounts available for employees may mean significant savings when shopping for Holiday gifts.
- Put your best foot forward. Even if you are just picking up an application at stores in the mall, dress your best and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company's brand and its products, as well as reviewing the store's website. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills-which is a must when dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and day-after-Christmas returns.
- Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first dibs on the preferred hours and shifts, so, as a seasonal employee, expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours that may include Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. If this is a second job in addition to your day job, be upfront and clear with your new employer about your available hours.
For more tips, visit www.bbb.org.
According to Forbes, here are the biggest U.S. charities:
1. United Way
2. Salvation Army
3. Catholic Charities
4. Feeding America
5. American Red Cross
The Street reported that DigiTimes says Apple is planning to release the iPhone 5S in mid-2013.
GateHouse News Service