1. If a website is not secure, do not buy something. Simply look up at the website address when you are shopping. If you notice an "https" instead of an "http," you can feel confident enough to insert your charge card information. However, if there is no "s" inside the address, start working on a different site to be on the safe side.
2. If a company has a newsletter, sign up. Often, companies will give sneak peeks, deals and online coupons to people on the 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 subscribe to a company's newsletter in the event you really like their products and services and would use a promotion code.
3. Be wary of any emails you get, even if they appear to be coming from a retailer you trust. Never click on a hyperlink that directs you to a web site other than the one you shopped on. If you do, you may become vulnerable to a gimmick. Rather than simply clicking on an email hyperlink, just go as much as your browser and enter in the web site you want to go to. It is much safer that way.
4. In case you have questions while shopping, choose a live chat function on the online store. Many big brands (and even some boutique stores) now have this functionality. You can chat immediately with a customer service representative to correct any issues or answer any questions before you purchase. That can provide you with a lot of peace of mind.
5. If you are intending to be shopping on the web, make sure that you practice it from a computer connection you already know is secure, like the one which you have at home. Hackers search for WI-Fi connections in public places while they are scouting for victims, so avoid shopping when using them.