Computer 101 – Holiday shopping online advice

Janis Weber

Shopping online for the holidays is convenient but can be an opening for deception. Before you begin your holiday shopping, make sure the device you’re using is up-to-date. If your antivirus and other protections are not current, you are asking for predators to get into your computer.

Shop trusted retailers and use these tips

Do not click on an ad on any website that is trying to sell you something. This is called a link to a webpage and often these are not legitimate. If you want something from a certain company, type in the address rather than clicking on a link.

Only shop on websites that are secure. In the address line it will have HTTPS rather than just HTTP (notice the s is missing). There could also be a closed padlock icon on the same line. That is extra good.

Please avoid clicking on an email with special offers. Many times scammers use the same colors, font styles and layout of a familiar retailer. Beware of misspellings and, as always, if it is too good to be true, double check. Go directly to the site and do not click on the link.

Do not give private information to a website unless you are sure they are legit. Never use a debit card, only a credit card. You have no protection with a debit card, which is like cash.

Phishing emails may appear asking you to confirm a purchase and your information. No retailer does this. Delete this email. Don’t even open it. You will have confirmed your email address to someone who is a thief. They sell your address to other people. Ever wonder how you get so many unsubscribed emails?

If you think you have been hacked or a charge is not yours, immediately contact that credit company. Have them issue you a new card with a new number and change your password for that card online.

Only use trusted sources. Banner ads, Facebook ads, email ads and snail mail are suspicious. Search for the item you may want in advance of blindly shopping around. Choose a source that you recognize.

Gift Ideas

It can be difficult to come up with gift ideas so here are some that are awesome. Ear buds and earphones can be expensive but they don’t have to be. The costly ones are more meant for gamers and disc jockeys. Beatbuds Pro and BLX brands are really good and only cost $50. If you want the best, go for Apple at $250 or Bose at $299. The costly ones have a longer battery life and less outside noise.

My favorite Bluetooth device for everyone who turns the TV or music up too high is Neckband Portable Bluetooth Speakers by Bluedio. It looks like a boomerang. It just rests around your neck. The speakers are right next to your ears so only you can hear better. Check it out on Amazon for around $20. The perfect gift for seniors.

This one is for everyone. Go to This computer set of games will exercise your mind at increasing levels. It is fun and you learn something every day. 7SeasCasino may also be right up your ally. You will find a variety of free games to keep you busy.


Whether you have a smart phone, laptop, desktop, iPad or the wonderfully inexpensive Amazon Fire Tablet you can access online shopping and gaming. Watch out for the ones that charge money. They will want your credit card. I never recommend that. By the way, an Amazon Fire tablet ranges from only $35 to a max of $150. Compare these to the iPad. Yes, the iPad is awesome but not everyone needs the Apple tablet. If you buy anything on Amazon now you have until Jan. 31 to return it for free. Just saying…

I Make House Calls (I am fully vaccinated and masked if requested)

I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades, and personal software tutoring. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Send me a text or call at 419-290-3570. I will be holding classes at the Sylvania Senior Center this fall. Check its website for details.

Definition of The Day

PHISHING is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

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