In response to the suggestion for purchasing what I consider to be a mainstream genealogy program, a Facebook acquaintance stated “I don’t shop online” and that’s certainly an option.

The person is new to family history and was looking for alternatives to a word processor for organizing her research findings.

The problem is many software programs are only available for purchase online, particularly as brick and mortar stores are closing left and right.

Ol’ Myrt here humbly offers the following advice to wary newbies:

1. Do not shop on a public computer, say at the library.

2. Do not shop on public WiFi. Use your password-protected home internet access.

3. Our bank suggests having an “online only card” where the user transfers only the amount required for the current purchase. It’s not a credit card with buyer protection, but the upside is that absolutely no additional purchases can be made should the card fall into the wrong hands. (My grandsons have these and their parents add allowances monthly.)

4. Order from reputable companies with reasonable consumer protections.

5. Trust prominent genealogy bloggers who have successfully ordered products from a site you are considering. They know the tried and true vendors in the genealogy vertical and do their best to ferret out the nefarious new ones. For instance, Cousin Russ knows Family Tree Maker software and regularly reports about it in his Family Tree Maker User blog. Randy Seaver reports about RootsMagic in his GeneaMusings blog.

We get by with a little help from our friends. 🤗