Internet Safety: Five Rules for Shopping Online

Stay safe while shopping from home

Online shopping is a modern convenience that many people use every day. You can comparison shop, find great deals and buy many items that are not available in your local stores. However, shopping over the Internet does carry some risks and it’s important to follow a few simple safety rules to avoid problems down the road.

Check for a secure connection

One of the most important things you can do when shopping online is to make sure a merchant’s website offers secure transactions. Most online stores use SSL (secure socket layer) encryption to keep your credit card information hidden as it passes over the Internet. You can tell whether a site is secure if its URL begins with “https” instead of “http.” It may also display a padlock icon on your browser. The web store does not have to use SSL for every page, but the payment process should always be encrypted.

Don’t store your credit card

When shopping online, try to avoid the temptation of storing your credit card information for future purchases. Although it’s convenient, it can also be risky. If you do opt to have use a credit card storage site remember your credit card number, limit yourself to those sites where you shop frequently, make sure you use a strong password and review your purchase history often. Note that some web stores will save your credit card information without asking, but you can remove it by updating your account information.

Read seller’s ratings and reviews

Many websites, including and, let you buy items from small merchants and independent sellers. Before buying, read up on the seller’s ratings and reviews from past customers. Look for sellers who have a long history of positive reviews. You should also take the time to understand their shipping and return policies. Once you receive your item, help out other shoppers by adding your own rating and review of the seller.

Be wary of unknown shops

Large online stores like or websites for chain stores (Home Depot, Best Buy, etc.) are generally considered safe. Small, unfamiliar stores should make you a little more wary. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t support these small businesses. You should simply take more care to read independent reviews, check for a secure payment page and perhaps look them up with the Better Business Bureau. Use common sense and avoid websites with amateurish presentation, poor grammar and multiple spelling mistakes.

Avoid shopping on public computers

The safest way to shop online is to only use your home computer. A public computer, like those at libraries or Internet cafes, opens you up to additional risks. If you do use a public computer for shopping online, be sure to log out of your account and clear the computer’s browser history, cookies and page cache. You should also be wary of those around you while making the purchase. A thief doesn’t need computer hacking skills to look over your shoulder and copy down your information.

When following basic Internet safety rules, shopping online has very few risks. Keep an eye toward security and you can safely enjoy the convenience of shopping from home.

Back to School: Five Chapter Books for Kids

Ready, set, read

When young readers are ready to begin taking on chapters of their own, few things are better than a new chapter book that piques their interest. Start September off right with a new chapter book or two, and get those neurons firing just in time for the new school year.

Sir Licksalot and the Island Fools, by D.L. Carroll

This is the second book in the Sir Licksalot series, and it arrives with accolades. It was published in June of this year, and already the book has won the Family Review Center’s Gold Award. In order to be eligible for the award, books must demonstrate product quality and family friendliness as well as “fill a void.” The book follows main character Blaze N. Haught and his friends as they return to Mavericks only to have their plans fall apart leading to lots of fun and adventures. The Family Review Center lauds Sir Licksalot as “a must-read that every child will enjoy.”

National Geographic Kids Chapters: Dog Finds Lost Dolphins and More True Stories of Amazing Animal Heroes, by Elizabeth Carney

Not all kids’ chapter books need to tell tall tales. The National Geographic Kids Chapters series gives young readers an avenue into nonfiction in a way that appeals to anyone with a natural curiosity. Dog Finds Lost Dolphins will especially interest young (or maybe even not-so-young) animal lovers. The subject of the title story is Cloud, a dog trained to track stranded dolphins.

Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!, by James Patterson

Anyone wary of making the jump from elementary school to middle school might relate to James Patterson’s tale of Rafe, a new seventh-grade student who finds a lot more than he bargained for when he’s accepted into an art-focused middle school in the big city. The book is a sequel to the New York Times Bestseller, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. One thing that might make it appealing to young readers is that even though it’s a chapter book, it doesn’t leave illustration by the wayside — the 288-page book includes more than 100 illustrations.

Lego Ninjago: Cole, Ninja of Earth, by Greg Farshtey

Though the Lego Ninjago series probably won’t win any literature awards, there is one thing that it might win: the interest of a young reader who otherwise has trouble focusing on a long story. If your young reader is a fan of the Lego Ninjago TV show on Teletoon, these books might be one way to channel his passion for the story from the screen to a book.

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Released in February, Wonder has already earned a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list. It tells the story of August Pullman, a boy born with a deformity that has kept him out of public school – until now. The book switches between multiple perspectives to tell a story about one community trying to find empathy and compassion. Author R.J. Palacio has referred to the story as “a meditation on kindness.” It’s one book that might deliver a message of acceptance at a time when young readers most need to hear it.

From stories with timely morals to books that entice reluctant readers, these five new chapter books for kids might hold the key to unlocking your young reader’s love of literature.

Meet the Chevy Spark…

Jack Maxton Chevrolet recently received the 2013 Chevy Spark! At first glance, you can’t help but notice how compact the car is. Made as a mini car for city driving, this stylish Chevy is perfect for weaving through the busy streets.  Not to mention, the Spark slides into those tight parking spaces other cars dream about.

Starting at $12,245, the Spark is the perfect vehicle for grads or young families. With 31.2 cubic feet of cargo space, the mini car is not so petite on the inside. Also, with 10 safety airbags, you feel safe and sound when driving those busy city streets. What about the warranty? We’ve got that covered too – with a 5 year 100K Powertrain Warranty.

The Spark 1LT and 2LT are packed full of features like … Chevrolet MyLink, 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen, three-month trail of SiriusXM Satellite Radio and by connecting a compatible smart phone, you can keep track of important information about your Spark.

Get a color that matches your mood! Available colors are Jalapeno, Denim, Summit White, Techno Pink, Salsa Red, Lemonade, Silver Ice and Black Granite. states “Look no further than the Spark 2LT, which brings on all the good stuff including an enhanced exterior appearance with front and rear sport fascias, stylish jewel-like fog lamps, roof rails and chrome exhaust tips.”

Interested in test driving the Spark? No problem, click the link below to schedule a time at Jack Maxton Chevrolet. 




GM Sustainability

GM works hard to reduce environmental impact.

GM is dedicated to continually reducing the impact its vehicles and manufacturing facilities have on the environment. That dedication goes far beyond mere compliance with the law; GM considers the environment throughout all aspects of its business, from its supply chain, to manufacturing, to the vehicles it puts on the road. Here are some of the specific ways that GM goes about this:
Harnessing solar power: Currently, GM facilities around the world house 30 megawatts of solar power – enough energy to power 10,000 U.S. homes for an entire year – and GM plans to double that wattage in coming years. The GM car factory in Zaragoza, Spain, houses the largest rooftop solar array in the world and is projected to put 12 megawatts of energy back into the plant, significantly reducing the need for fossil fuel energy.
Working towards zero landfill: More than half of GM manufacturing facilities (a total of 81 so far) are now landfill-free; at these plants, 97 percent of waste generated through daily manufacturing operations is reused or recycled, while the remaining three percent is converted into energy. Unavoidable waste products such as scrap metal, shipping materials and paint sludge are repurposed in innovative ways to prevent it from ending up in the ground. GM is still not done, however, recently announcing an effort to help make its non-manufacturing facilities, like offices and technical centers, landfill-free also; currently, 18 such facilities are landfill-free. Highlighting GM’s commitment to innovation in environmental protection, the company partnered with recycling firms to convert 227 miles of oil boom from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill into air deflectors for the Chevrolet Volt.
‘Green Construction’ Program: Five GM construction sites, including a $200 million stamping plant in Arlington, Texas, are following a process that helps to both reduce waste and increase energy efficiency throughout construction. The five sites have already recycled 150,000 tons of waste. All future GM North American construction sites will follow the GM Green Construction practices.
GM is addressing sustainability and working to reduce its environmental impact in many ways, including the construction of a solar array for the Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, and production of the groundbreaking and award-winning Chevrolet Volt, which can run on both electricity and gas. By reducing its impact on the environment, GM is working to create a better future for people around the world.

Cops and Kids Day in Westerville

Jack Maxton is sponsoring Cops & Kids Day! This program is designed to provide children of all ages the opportunity to interact with law enforcement officers and to see, touch and learn about some of the equipment these agencies utilize such as helicopters, cruisers, K-9, mounted patrols, SWAT, bike patrol and DARE. The daylong event will host several competitions among the different agencies.

These include DARE car and patrol cruiser competitions. We can’t forget about the “Dunk-A-Cop” tank that the kids always look forward to. Of course, P.A.L.S., (the safety puppets) and all of the special police robots will be on hand to entertain the children.

The first 1,100 Children will receive a Cops & Kids Day giveaway item. Every child has an opportunity to receive donated prizes from local businesses. Lots of child safety information materials and safety items will be given away during the event. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided at no cost.

The next date for Cops & Kids Day is Sunday Sept. 9, 2012 from 10:30 to 2:30 PM. Visit this page on Jack Maxton’s website.