1. Never give out your Social Security number for an online merchant. This number is not required for placing orders online. Giving an online store your Social Security number can help them use your personal and private information to steal your identity. To prevent that, if you continue an online store site and see that as a requirement, usually do not buy everything from them and shop somewhere else.
2. Pay close attention for potential sales online starting as early as Wednesday. Many brick and mortar stores do sales on the weekends, and to compete, many online retailers have moved their sales days up by several days. You can often find exceptional mid-week bargains with just a little online research.
3. Be mindful which sites you patronize. It is difficult to know which are in the up or higher and that 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.
4. Sign-up for any id theft protection your credit card company offers, especially if you shop online often. No matter how safe you are or how diligently you believe you can protect your details, it's never one hundred percent guaranteed. Take full advantage of automatic ID protection and know you will have back-up, should the worst occur.
5. Sign up for your chosen online stores' newsletters. Often online stores will send out daily, weekly or monthly newsletters with special sales, discounts and deals. If you like to save cash, you might be able to score some great deals on items you were going to purchase anyway.