There are certain times see post of the year that shopping is just plain dreadful. The parking lots are full, the lines are long and the prices are through the roof. You can now shop from home using your computer and get better prices than you ever could if you went through the torture of going to the store. When you are shopping online, you should only shop at reputable stores. If the store does not have a good reputation, you may be asking for trouble. Some people have had their credit card and personal information stolen from shopping on less than reputable websites. Be careful and protect your private information. If you are looking for the best coupons, consider signing up for the newsletters of the stores that you love the most. Frequently, people who have opted in to a website mailing list get the best discounts and coupons. Signing up for emails can save you lots of money because they will continue to send you discounts as long as you show an interest in their store. When you are shopping online, make sure that you are only shopping on secure websites. Look in the website URL and it should display "https"� instead of the usual "http"� at the beginning. Always have an up to date copy of anti-virus running on your computer as well. This will ensure that you have a safe online shopping experience. When you are looking for places to buy a product online, and not one of the online merchants are familiar to you, you should not offer your personal information so readily. Become familiar with security symbols such as Cybertrust or Verisign to help decide if a website is legitimate and concerned with your security. When shopping online you always want to find the best deal possible. A great way to do this is to look for coupon or promotional codes. You can find these codes on different websites. Look for a space while checking out to plug in the promotional codes. This can end up saving you a little money. Shop with a friend to save money. Many times an online store will offer free shipping or another discount if you spend a certain amount of money. If you find that you will not be spending the amount needed, ask a friend if they need anything from the store so you can both save money. There is certain information that should never be asked for during a shopping transaction, so be careful of what you share. While it is normal to provide name, address and payment information, you should not deal with any retailer that asks you for your bank routing number or your social security number. If you make a purchase and you are directed to a confirmation page that fails to load, never hit the button that refreshes the page. if you do this, you run this risk of being billed multiple times. If you must confirm your purchase, contact the company or check your credit card statement. Searching is the key to saving money with online shopping. Do a search for whatever it is you want to buy. You can use a traditional search engine like Google, or a shopping-specific engine like Shopping.com so you can more easily see who has the item in stock and what their price is. If you like to buy and use gift cards for online shopping, make sure you buy them only from the store that issued them. Third-party sites are popping up all over, and although they advertise prices that are below the actual cost of cards, some cant be trusted. Since you have no way of knowing until you go to redeem them, stay on the safe side. Amazon.com is a great place to get deals, but the real steals are often found in the used products available. When you buy refurbished, you often get an item which is even better than new as it has been rigorously tested. Other used products can be priced at super low rates. Look at your web browsers address bar and verify that the website uses the HTTPS before giving out any personal information. The S in HTTPS URLs let you know that the site uses encryption for information that is gathered, and is secure. In addition, search for a padlock icon, which is located at the bottom of the majority of online shopping retailers. This icon informs you that the website is secure. Now that youve read this, you should know more about safe and prudent online shopping. You can spend money around the clock using the information you learned here. Share your new found knowledge with your family members and friends.