The Internet, Wild West

Connecting the Dots

There are good reasons not to shop online, although I admit it is quick, easy, and often cheaper than shopping by car, or by foot. But there is a good reason to shop face to face, or face to self-checkout machine.


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But out on the ‘wild west’ internet, the unexpected can pop up, as proven by the recent cyberattack against the child welfare agency Southern First Nations Network. Disturbing!

My personal experience of internet intrusion came last week when I contacted a colleague to ensure she was aware of an upcoming meeting. It was an invitation to attend, via text message. The family is a cell phone only household. Texting is SO handy, I texted.

To my delight, my colleague responded quickly. But there was a hint of something overly friendly in the text, via Facebook Messenger. She was bubbling up about a grant that she received. Gushing with enthusiasm.

Of course, I asked more about it, the GGF – Global Grant Fund – a fund to help people in need, to pay their bills.

Ding, ding, ding rang the alarm bells.

I then phoned my colleague’s number and found … she was hacked. The point of that hack? The harm done? Not sure.

But this brings me back to what is within my control – where I shop.

My rule of thumb: if I can get it in my town where I work, or my town where I live, or a town that I visit, those are my first choices. If it costs $5 or even $20+ (on a big item) more, I’m still ahead.

I have enjoyed the personal interaction at the store and I didn’t risk my payment info online.

So what about internet deals? There are a couple of ‘bargain’ sites that I have tried and I ‘Wish’ (hint) I hadn’t. Stuff didn’t come for months. Product that did arrive in a timely fashion was thin enough to spit through and another was green plastic, not the soft leather as promised.

My shopping preference? Up close, in person.


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