With the prevalence of fraud related to online credit card purchases, shopping on the internet is not risk-free. However, there are several things you can do to protect yourself so you’re not such an easy target for cyber-criminals. Here are some of the most common tips for safely using your credit card online.
Before you enter your credit card information online to make a payment, make sure that the website employs data encryption by looking for an https:// in the address bar. It's important to use a secure device and network when shopping online. Don't use public computers or open Wi-Fi networks to conduct business online.
Remember, online credit card processing does not require your social security number, so if the site asks you to provide it, something is amiss. Guard all account information by always using a strong password. Use unique passwords for each online account to prevent all your information from being compromised in a hack.
In general, security measures are much more comprehensive with credit cards than with debit cards. Using a credit card limits your liability for fraudulent purchases while debit cards may not. You can also have your card provider generate a one-time-use number to enter in place of your actual credit card number.
If a website looks or feels unsecure it's better not to risk purchasing from it. Stick to online shopping with larger, well-known companies. It's also good to look for a seal of approval from a respected consumer protection organization. If there are no indications of approval or fraud protection, choose another online store.