When it comes to only shopping, the safety of your personal information is of paramount concern. Entering personal financial information such as your name, address and credit card information into a form on an unknown site is something that should not be done carelessly.
Let’s take appliance shopping as an example. I have no problem getting information on products from independent websites, but I prefer to actually make purchases on sites that I am already familiar with. To that end, I may look at an independent refrigerator review site for unbiased information on the product I want to buy, but the purchase will take place on a site like Amazon.
This may seem a little unfair to site owners – as you use their information and they get no compensation – but you can still reward them. Most sites contain links to merchants selling the products they are discussing, so if you link through to Amazon from an independent website it is a win-win situation. The site owner gets a small commission – at no additional cost to you – while you get the reassurance of shopping with a firm you know and trust.
Note that privacy concerns are not a new issue. They have long existed, even at brick and mortar stores, where an unscrupulous employee can steal your credit card info right before your eyes. Just as with shopping at a physical location, you can protect yourself online by being vigilant and taking basic precautionary measures.
As long as the page where you end up entering your credit card information is on a trusted site, you can rest assured that it is safe from misuse.
Worst case; remember that credit cards come with fraud protection. So if someone misuses your card either online or in a store, contact the card issuer as soon as your realize is has happened to start the process of negating the charges.