Don't give out your credit card number online unless you know and trust the company in question.
When you input your credit card information at a website or send it in an e-mail, that information is transmitted across the Internet as if it were written on the back of a postcard. To ensure the security of your account, that information should be encrypted using the latest technology. A fraudulent site may tell you that you don't need to encrypt the information. Don't believe it.
Don't trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
Before using a secured transaction site, check out the encryption software it uses. You can do this by clicking on the icon that looks like a lock located on the bottom right corner of the screen. A Certification by VeriSign would be one of the industry's trusted technology. Some sites may claim to be encrypted when they actually are not. If you are not sure, ask for an alternate method of payment.
Read the fine print.
If you receive an offer for a pre-approved credit card or if someone says they'll help you get a credit card, find out the details first. You need to know what interest rate you will be paying and for how long. Some credit cards offer low rates as "teasers" that are raised after a certain period of time or only apply to balances transferred from other cards. You also need to know about any annual fees, late charges or other fees, and whether there are grace periods for payment before interest is applied. If the terms of the offer aren't provided or aren't clear, look for a credit card from someone else.
Use your credit wisely.
People who are heavily indebted would normally have taken on more credit than they can handle or have not used credit responsibly. Don't apply for more cards than you absolutely need, and don't charge more than you can afford. To maintain a good credit rating, pay bills promptly. Avoid interest charges by choosing a card that offers a grace period and paying the entire balance due each month. If you can't pay the full balance, choose a card with the lowest interest rate.