1. Be careful which sites you patronize. It is difficult to know which are in the up and up and which are not, but there are a few clues. If the address does not seem sensible or the design seems off, go to a different site. In addition, if a bunch of pop-up windows begin appearing, close them out and move on.
2. Get engaged in the social media of your favorite online stores. Brands with big online presences typically put a lot of money behind their social media, and that includes offering their followers some mega-discounts and exclusive deals. You can be one of the lucky ones scoring these handles just a quick follow or fanning.
3. Be careful in regard to the online stores that you consider buying from. If the web store is poorly designed, full of misspellings, and overall fishy, you should take your money elsewhere. These are signs that something might not be right about this store. It's safer to be safe than sorry.
4. If a website is not secure, do not buy something. Simply search for at the web address when you are shopping. If you notice an "https" as opposed to an "http," you can feel confident enough to insert your credit card information. However, if there is no "s" in the address, start working on a different site to be around the safe side.
5. In case a company has a newsletter, sign up. Often, companies will give sneak peeks, special deals and discount codes to people on their own mailing list. However, be careful. You don't want to sign up for every company's newsletter or you'll soon be buried under endless emails. Only sign up for a company's newsletter if you really like their products and services and would use a coupon code.