You can buy almost anything on the Internet these days. One day you could book a vacation for your family including everything from choosing the right accommodations from hotels in Europe to arranging for a rental car in Australia. The next you could order your groceries to be delivered to your door. With each purchase that you're making you're required to give out your credit card information. So, you're going to want to know that this sensitive material is being kept confidential. Here are some tips for recognizing the sites that have credit card protection and those that might not.

While it's very easy to stay anonymous online, this is not a good thing when dealing with a business or person that you're planning to give money to. You should always know exactly who is in charge of the website you're shopping at and where your money will be going. If you're buying custom items and you're expecting them to come and install it then you might want to check up on your order by phoning the company. Or you might want to send a purchase with another individual through a service like PayPal.

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Make sure that all of your information is being sent through an encrypted connection. When you look at the address for the website that you are on it should start with the code "https" instead of the standard "http". There is a cost for companies to use this type of website but those that are concerned with your security when they are selling you their products should have no trouble with absorbing this fee. If you want to see a secure website with the 'S' in the URL, check out a banking site like

There are many third party sites that are going to offer you a number of deals for products. Some might just ask for your email address in exchange for a chance to win a car or to get weekly coupons sent to your inbox. Others could offer you a great discount on designer fashions if you buy through their website. You should treat these sites with some caution especially if the deals seem too good to be true. If you're curious about the credibility of a site then you should look up online reviews from third parties. You need to be certain that the items you are buying are in fact what they claim, especially with brand names. Designer Gucci or Kate Spade purses that are being sold at rock bottom prices are probably not authentic. You don't want to buy a Tag Heuer watch for thousands of dollars to later learn it is a cheap knock off. By the same token, it would be a waste of money to order replacement parts for your car only to discover that what arrives at your door is something that won't fit and can't be returned. Good, trustworthy websites will provide contact options including a toll free phone number so you can reach a live person and ask questions about your order.

There are many companies that are doing the bulk of their sales online these days. You might be working with a salesperson who is providing you with a vacuum cleaner to use in your own home or want to purchase an item that you can only get in another country. Just because you're not meeting face to face does not mean that you can't deal with and ask questions to a real person. Never give your information over if you're feeling uncertain about the legitimacy of the company or website.

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