Bad guys know perfectly well that when the online bargains begin after Thanksgiving, specifically, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, you will be providing your credit card number to retailers all over the world.

1. Go big. Do your online business with major retailers, or those you already know, like, and trust. The chances of a major online retailer stiffing you, or of their database being compromised, are slimmer than those of an unknown.

2. Do your homework. If you search for a particular product and wind up at an unfamiliar website, do some research on the retailer before putting down your credit card number. Search for the company’s name and web address to see if there have been complaints.

3. Don’t give out more personal data than necessary. Many retailers require your name, address, phone number, and credit card information. This is normal. But if you are asked for anything beyond that, like bank account numbers or your Social Security number, run hard and fast.

4. Vary your passwords. Often, online retailers will ask you to register with their website when you make your first purchase. Never register using the same password you’ve already used for another website. Otherwise, if one website is hacked, your password could be used to infiltrate your other accounts.

5. Use HTTPS sites. Websites that have a secure checkout process, with “https://” in the web address (as opposed to “http://”) are safer.

6. Print out and save online receipts. Keeping track of what you bought, where, and for how much can become confusing when making multiple purchases online. You need to pay close attention to your purchases in order to reconcile your credit card statements.

Smart retailers are already protecting consumers behind the scenes by implementing multiple layers of fraud protection. One very effective fraud detection technology is the use of device identification and device reputation to alert businesses to known fraudsters on their site. iovation Inc. provides this service, taking it another level to analyzing the device’s reputation by assessing risk on each transaction.

“The most reputable online sites all ramp up their security processes during the holidays,” says Molly O’Hearn, iovation’s VP of Operations & Co-founder. “This is a very good thing for online consumers because this is the time of year that your identity and credit card information is most at risk.”

Whether you are buying electronics as gifts this holiday season, or sports and entertainment tickets for friends and family, iovation is working hard in the background of these sites to keep the bad guys out so you can have a safe and fun experience.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses credit card fraud on NBC Boston. Disclosures

Be Sociable, Share!