By shopping online, you can find the best deals, and get your items delivered right to your door without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Online shopping is convenient, but convenience always has a price.
As the number of online shoppers has grown, so have the threats, with more and more criminals attempting to steal your credit card information that leads to online identity theft. With someone becoming a victim almost every minute, it’s a common crime.
A fail-safe way to prevent identity theft online is unlikely to exist, and monitoring systems just let you know after something has gone awry. But for credit card users, here are some things you can do about online identity protection.
Secure Your Devices and Networks
You could be exposed if you enable your browser to store your credit card number. Start turning off the Autofill feature for every browser you use to avoid this.
To conduct electronic transactions using your credit cards, consider using a digital wallet, a payment platform installed on your mobile. They have the ability to be more secure than carrying a credit card, as digital wallets use encryption, tokenization, and authentication.
Make your device difficult to open if you use a digital wallet by having a passcode and fingerprint, if possible, and in case you lose it, download a tool to help you locate your phone.
You will need to use secure passwords that are long (over 10 characters), and strong (using upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers). Also make sure that the password has nothing to do with your personal details such as name, birth date, and age.
Only Shop on Secure Networks
Just use safe, trustworthy websites, and do not use public WiFi for online shopping. On public WiFi networks, cybercriminals frequently spy on and steal data that is transmitted over the network.
Public networks will make you prone to these breaches, allowing hackers to access your private financial details, account passwords, bank credentials, and other sensitive information.
A site’s URL is also important. The hypertext transfer protocol secure (https) is a more secure version of the older hypertext transfer protocol (http). Https was developed to verify a website’s security and privacy, so when a website is asking for personal or financial data, check to make sure that “https” is present in a website’s URL.
Use One Credit Card for Online Transactions
For all your online transactions, designate only one credit card. You prevent yourself from exposing different accounts to hackers in this way and can conveniently search for fraudulent charges.
For online use, some banks also offer special cards. Get set up, so every time a transaction is made on your account, you will receive text messages or email notifications.
When possible, protect yourself when shopping online by checking out as a guest rather than setting up an account that stores your card data.
Do Not Provide More Information Than Needed
Expect some payment method, contact number, shipping information, and email address to be given, but run away if the seller demands other details. You never need to give information about your bank account, social security number, or driver’s license number when shopping online.
Some businesses ask about your interests, but these should always be optional and you should be careful about supplying the information. In these instances, ask yourself if the merchant may resell your information, rent it, or exchange it.
Others argue that they own the information and can use it (or misuse it) however they want. Stick with those businesses that value your privacy.
Always Review Your Account
It is important for credit card security to check your recent account activity, and it is simple to do. You can do it online, or over the phone, using the bank’s app.
In order to inform you and your issuer of suspicious activities, most card issuers often allow you to set up email or text alerts.
Consider signing up with a credit-monitoring program if you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft in the past.
Consistently following these tips will minimize the likelihood of getting your identity hacked. And you can ensure you are warned immediately if such an issue occurs.
These tips may seem basic, but when shopping online, they’re successful ways to lower your risk. When you know your credit card details are safe, it is easier to enjoy some virtual shopping.