Buying products and booking services online has become commonplace for businesses and people alike. Whether you're in need of pet food for your child's goldfish or supplies for your new home office you can likely get what you need delivered right to your door without any hassle at all. But when you're shopping online you always want to be a little more careful before handing your hard-earned money over to a company, as there are many Internet scammers who prey on unsuspecting shoppers. Here are some tips for spotting which sites you can trust and when to keep your credit card number to yourself.

Make sure you know the name and address of the company that you're dealing with. If you're booking an appointment with a mortgage loan specialist, then naturally you're going to know where their office is. But you might not be so sure if you're buying a part for your computer or a new pair of shoes online. If you're dealing with an online store than before you put in any of your personal information you should check to make sure that you have a way of contacting the company should something go wrong.

There are many ways that scammers can steal your information even if you are dealing with a reputable website. One of the ways to avoid getting taken advantage of while your information is in transition from your computer to the recipient is to make sure that site is using secure software. Programs provided by sites like PayPal will keep intruders from getting to your information while you're researching or buying flowers for your mother.

Sites like Craigslist and Ebay are designed to let regular people market their unwanted items to buyers across the world. But in order to do this they need to keep some information confidential until the final stage of the sale. If you're getting supplies for your naturopathic clinic you should make sure that you know who you're dealing with before finalizing the sale. Online auction sites usually have a feedback section where you can see how buyers have been treated in past transactions. With Craigslist you're commonly dealing with people selling items in your own area. Instead of mailing out a check you can choose to meet in a public place to exchange money and whatever you're buying.

While there might be many stories going around all of the time and many reasons to not share your information with anyone or any site online, the truth is that millions of people are making secure transactions everyday. All you have to do is be careful and smart about your Internet purchases.

How can I know if the website is safe?

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