If you're one of the few left who has yet to discover the amazing world of online shopping, isn't it about time you jumped on the bandwagon? Forget about your fear of sending your credit card number and personal information into the great unknown. This article will show you the many advantages and conveniences, help squelch your (somewhat) irrational fears, and maybe even help you find reason to rejoice in the addictive pastime that is known as online shopping.

Convenience - Forget the long lines, the endless searching for a parking space, the juggling of shopping bags; online shopping allows you to get exactly what you need without all the hassles or even stepping foot outside your home. Furthermore, online shops are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Limited shopping where you live? Just hop online and virtually any store in the world is just a click away.

Comparison Shopping - There are a lot of stores and vendors who sell the same item, but how do you know you're getting the best possible price? Just as frustrating is finding a product that you actually prefer over the one you already purchased. Such shopping grievances are no longer an issue with online comparison shopping, where it's easy to browse and compare products. There are a myriad of websites that specialize just in price comparison; simply type in the product and you'll be given a list of websites that sell that particular product and for how much (you can use search engines as well to find a certain item). Curious to know if a specific product actually works or if the name brand is that much better than the generic? The internet is also chock full of consumer product reviews - hear which products are best straight from the horse's mouth.

Security - Many people are leery of shopping online because of security concerns - how do you know your credit card information will be kept safe and secure? What if the website you're purchasing from isn't legitimate? Many security measures have been implemented to make online shopping safer and more secure, making it extremely difficult to steal an individual's personal information. When shopping online, make sure you are shopping on websites that use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which encrypts your sensitive information. These sites typically have an icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the browser or an "s" after "http" in the address bar (i.e. "https://www...). For websites that make you create an account before placing an order, always make sure you use strong passwords (passwords that incorporate both upper and lower case, numbers, and characters).