Keep Your Credit Card Safe While Shopping Online
If you are like many American consumers, you purchase goods and services online. Although shopping on the internet can be a convenient way to get items at a discount, it can also put your credit card at risk.
When you shop online, your primary goal should be to keep your data secure. After all, it doesn’t take much effort for a hacker to get access to your financial data without your knowledge.
Whether you are a person with overspending habits or a casual online shopper, there are things that you can do to protect your credit card information. Let’s take a look at 9 ways you can keep your credit card safe while shopping online.
1. Purchase goods and services from merchants that you can trust
Setting up an online store is easy. In fact, any person can create a fake store and accept credit cards for purchases.
After purchases are made, the fake merchant can bill your credit card without sending your goods. Online store scams are responsible for billions of dollars lost by consumers due to credit card fraud each year. Here’s how to spot fake online stores.
- The store closely resembles a major online retailer.
- The online merchant provides only the minimum amount of contact information.
- The content on the site is poorly written.
- The online site has received poor reviews.
Since it’s difficult to regulate online stores, the best way to protect your credit card is by purchasing from major retailers such as Amazon and Apple. If you have a problem with major retailers, they make it easy for you to contact them via telephone or email.
2. Keep track of your shopping transactions
Always pay close attention to your debit or credit card statements. You should take a few moments each day to review your statements.
If you notice any fraudulent credit card activity, contact your card provider immediately. Your card provider can cancel your credit card before you incur additional financial losses.
3. Use different passwords for each site
Many online shoppers find it difficult to remember passwords for different results. As a result, they use the same password for each site.
This is not a good idea. Once hackers get your password, they can use it to access your data on other sites. For that reason, it’s important to use passwords with a combination of letters, characters and numbers.
4. Keep all social media accounts private
On the surface, sharing information on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook may appear to be harmless. However, providing information such as your birth date, phone number and address can increase your chances of experiencing financial fraud.
Hackers can use this data to access the financial information that you have stored. Be sure that you don’t reveal too much information about yourself on your social media sites.
Be sure that your personal information is kept private on these sites. You shouldn’t accept friend requests from people that you don’t know.
5. Utilize a two-step verification process with your online merchants
Many banks and online retailers have a two-step verification process. Before your card is billed, the merchant will require you to authenticate your account.
The two-step verification process adds another layer of protection to your credit card. This prevents fraudulent people from getting access to your accounts.
6. Verify the site’s security settings
Online sites that haven’t invested in the proper security measures aren’t worth the risk. If an online store is secure, it has a lock icon at the top of the screen that is located near the domain name and an updated SSL certificate.
Reputable sites are serious about protecting their customers’ security and privacy.
Privacy policies provide information about the type of personal information that will be required and the way it will be used.
8. Beware of the hype
With the right software, any person can create exciting ads that are really scams. Before you make a purchase, think about the advertisement. Is it really possible to purchase an authentic designer handbag for $99? Also look out for fast loan options marketed with no interest, stay safe with secured loans like getting a loan against your car.
Evaluate online advertisements carefully. If the online site is offering something that is ‘unbelievable’, it’s probably a scam.
9. Don’t fall for phishing scams
Not only can malicious software destroy your computer, it can gain access to any financial information that you have stored on your computer. One way hackers can gain access to this information is by implementing phishing scams.
Phishing scams are fraudulent emails that are sent for the sole purpose of getting you to click a link. After you have taken this action, malware will be installed on your computer. This malicious software can access your financial information and passwords.
It’s important to take extra steps to avoid online credit card scams. By following these tips, it will be easy for you to keep your credit card and financial information safe while you are shopping online.