Using a credit card is one of the most ubiquitous ways to transact online. However, more and more cases of credit card fraud and identity theft are taking
place. Some would find their cards maxed out, incurring debt from purchases that were never made in the first place. Some would find themselves billed
repeatedly over a period of time for items they did not purchase.
Although such cases are a continued risk, you don’t need to completely swear off using your credit card online. Here are some ways to help you keep your
financial details safe during internet transactions:
Use established merchants
When it comes to buying online, you should always make it a point to do business with established brands, merchants, and outlets to ensure that your credit
card information is safe. Larger companies that have online stores employ stricter security measures. Always check the website if they offer secure options
for transactions, such as seals of approval from known organizations like McAfee, VeriSign, etc.
If, however, you want to do business with a relatively new website, you can ask your friends and family. Some of them might have bought something from the
same e-store before, or some could recommend better alternatives. It also wouldn’t hurt to do a simple online research. Check if there are good or bad
reviews regarding the company on various forums.
Store your card details in your brain
Always keep your credit card information stored in your brain and not on the websites where you’ll make a purchase. Some sites do not store the billing
information that you give out, making it less likely for your credit card information to end up in the wrong hands.
Memorize your credit card information and don’t write it down anywhere else. Sending it out through email or a text message can be dangerous because
hackers can easily intercept the information and use it against you. If you are letting someone else use your credit card, input the details yourself and
don’t give them the information.
Be vigilant against phishing
Phishing is the act of acquiring sensitive information from you through the use of fake sites that masquerades as the real thing. Phishing sites usually
mimic the established outlets and merchants, duping you in the process to obtain the information that they want.
Make sure that the websites that you visit are authentic and always check out for signs of phishing. A lot of scammers have poor web design and plenty of
grammatical errors on their website, as their only purpose is to get the information out of you.
Pop-ups that immediately show upon landing on the site and asking for information should also be a red flag. Some cyber criminals will direct you to the
legitimate website, and then use pop-ups to get your information.
When shopping, you should also be aware of the details that you would input on the forms. For instance, you don’t need to provide your social security
number when you’re just shopping for a handbag.
Use a Virtual Card
Some banks offer you the option to utilize a virtual card that would only work for a specific purchase. These virtual cards are fashioned with temporary
one-time use card numbers that you can use to make the purchase online.
Instead of using the information that you have on your credit card, you can call up your issuing bank and ask for a virtual card that can only be used for
a certain amount of time. This account would still link the purchase to your credit card, but you won’t have to expose your details to the merchant.
Make Sure You’re Secure
The easiest way to know whether you’re dealing with a secure connection is by checking out if you’re on a https:// link, instead of the usual http://. The
added ‘s’ means that your connection is secure.
Also, try and avoid making purchases when you’re using a public Wi-Fi connection. The sensitive information that you share over a public connection can be
easily accessed by someone who is on the same network as yours. You’ll never know when that certain someone is targeting your bank account details. Always
make the purchase in a secure and private connection to avoid getting your information leaked.
Remember that securing your credit card information when making purchases can help you avoid incidents when cyber criminals can use your information
against you. Always be vigilant and trust your instincts. It’s always better to be a bit paranoid about your security than to suffer the consequences of
having your information stolen.