1. Before buying coming from a new online retailer, do some research on them. Check online reviews from other customers to see how it handles stuff like customer service, shipping, and its overall buying experience. You can also look into the BBB to determine if it has any disputes and whether those disputes were resolved professionally. Try contacting the company via email and phone number, if it's posted to ask questions regarding its business before you buy anything.
2. Look for the right times to shop online. Often the stores that you frequent will have online sales that follow a time pattern. Many, for instance, schedule sales for the beginning of the month or at the end. If you notice there's a pattern, hold off on buying anything until the upcoming sales period begins.
3. Be wary of overdoing it. It is much easier to overspend if you are shopping online. You start to rationalize that you can spend more for those shoes because you saved money on gas and the food you would have gotten if you went to the mall, for example. Give yourself a limit and stay with it.
4. When you are searching for a place to buy an item and no results appear to be from familiar retailers, you should be hesitant about entering your data. Look for security signs from Verisign or Cybertrust, which means you know the retailer is not in the market to take your hard earned money.
5. Sign-up for any id theft protection your credit card company offers, particularly if you shop online often. No matter how safe you are or how diligently you believe you can protect your data, 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.