There are things you should do before you press the "buy" button on a Web site.
Get the scoop on the seller
Make sure you know who the seller is. If you are unsure, check with your local or state consumer protection agency. Get the physical address and phone number in case you must contact the company offline.
Use a credit card
Credit cards are the safest way to pay because you have the legal right to dispute charges for goods or services that were never ordered, never received or misrepresented. If there are unauthorized charges or if your card number is stolen, you are only liable up to $50.00 for those charges.
Ask about "substitute" or "single-use" credit card numbers
Some credit card companies now provide "substitute" or "single-use" card numbers. That allows you to make 1 unique purchase with that number, so that if that number is stolen, it is worthless to anyone else. It is safe from "hackers" and dishonest company employees.
Look for clues about security
When you provide payment information the "http" at the beginning of the web address should change to "https." Your browser may use a symbol to show whether the information is being encrypted, or scrambled, as it is being sent. See what Web sites say about how they safeguard your information. Don't provide sensitive information by e-mail.
Know the complete story on your purchase
There is no automatic cancellation right, so get all the details before you buy, a complete description of the items, the refund or return policy, the expected delivery date, and the warranty information.
Keep your records in order
Print out and keep handy all the information on your purchase, in case you have a dispute.