1. Should you be shopping online, never give out your Social Security number. There is not any website that really needs this number for you to buy something. If you are being asked for your Social Security number during checkout, you are probably on a scam website. Leave this site and find one that includes a better reputation.
2. Always save copies of your orders and receipts from online purchases. Many stores will redirect one to a page after you've submitted your order detailing anything that was bought, customer information, the prices, etc. You should either print a duplicate of this or save a copy to your computer in case any issues arise before the end of the return period. Be sure to save any emails about your items' status or correspondence with the company regarding your orders, too.
3. Sign up for the website's newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a discount or some kind of deal when you sign up for their newsletter. Find out if there is a deal associated with registering for the newsletter at any store you want to shop at.
4. Look for coupons before purchasing a product online. Most online stores usually have some promotional offers going on. If you do not find any information regarding current offers on the site from the online store, look on other sites. Customers sometimes share their discount codes on discussion boards or couponning blogs.
5. Be careful which sites you patronize. It is difficult to find out 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. Additionally, if a bunch of pop-up windows begin appearing, close them out and move on.