Shopping online from the convenience of your own home is one of the miracles bestowed upon us by the internet. We can easily buy anything from our weekly groceries to our automobiles with just the click of a mouse. However, with the ease of online shopping come some risks--identity theft, false advertising, and scams to name a few. Keep reading to learn how to reap the rewards of online shopping while protecting yourself and scoring great deals. Make sure that when you make a purchase online, you are aware of if the site is secure or not. You do not want your information being compromised in this day and age. Identity theft is quite common, and you must protect your information at all cost so that you wish to keep making purchases online. Never try to shop directly from a link someone sent you in an email, unless its a widely known and respected site, like Amazon.com. Too many consumers get tricked into scams via hyperlinks in questionable emails. Visit the URL of the site mentioned in the mail, instead of clicking the link itself. Sign-up for any identity 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 information, its never one hundred percent guaranteed. Take full advantage of automatic ID protection and know you will have back-up, should the worst occur. Look for coupons before purchasing a product online. Most online stores always have some promotional offers going on. If you do not find any information about current offers on the site of the online store, look on other sites. Customers sometimes share their coupon codes on message boards or couponning blogs. If youre making an online purchase, dont hesitate to contact customer service if you have a question. By contacting customer service before you make your order, youll find out how helpful customer service is and how quickly they respond. This is useful information to have in the event that something goes wrong after youve made your purchase. In order to shop like a pro online, you need to take advantage of any discounts that you can view find that are only available to people who purchase online. Sign up for newsletters, daily deals and search for coupons before you make your purchase. Oftentimes there will be discounts available if you take the time to look for them. Make sure you read the return policy before buying online. Some online purchases can have different return policies than you normally see. This is especially true if you are buying from an online auction store like eBay. Take the additional time to look into what your return rights are so that you arent surprised later. If you lead a hectic lifestyle, or work odd hours, it can often be difficult to make it to the store before they close. Online shopping, however, is something that you can do at any hour of the day (or night!), and may therefore be a more convenient choice for you. Do a quick web search for promo keys and discounts prior to making any online purchases. Often, there are discount keys out there that you may not be aware of! This could save you 10% to 20%, or offer you things like free shipping or a discount on a secondary item. No reputable company should ask for or need your social security number simply for shopping purposes. Therefore, make it a practice never to give out your SSN online. If you are making a purchase and you are asked for this number, do not continue. You are probably on a scam site, and you should not complete the transaction. Armed with these money-saving strategies, you are prepared to shop online. You now understand how to find great deals and great products. You really cant ask for more.