Good online shopping advice is often hard to discern. While we are inundate with online shopping advice, we are often left thirsty in a polluted sea of bad advice. Thus, consumers have become weary of any online shopping advice they hear. That is probably the best attitude to take. After all, when doing online shopping, the best advice does not come from some blogger who may be too broke to shop herself. Rather, it comes from common sense.
What common sense can you use with online shopping? For one, know that most payment processors are secure. The Payment Card Industry standards, or PCI standards, covers all payment transactions online, and guarantees a minimum level of security for all companies that accept credit cards. That said, these security standards primarily protect against interference. Never give credit card numbers to a site you do not trust.
If you are using a safe site, use a credit card if your credit rating is comfortable enough. Federal interstate commerce law allows credit card holders an added layer of protection for faulty purchases made with a credit card. If you bought something with a credit card, and it was misrepresented, not only can you file a claim against the seller. Rather, the credit card company can and often does intervene on your behalf.
If you are not comfortable with a credit card, use an online payment service. These services pay using a checking account, but do not let the payment processor know what the account is or how it is used. Thus, it is an added layer of protection in the fight against identity fraud.
Finding online shopping advice is more a matter of common sense than anything else. By all means, you can safely do online shopping within your budget. That said, just be mindful of transactions. If your parents would not pay for something in a certain way, neither should you.