One of the biggest trends of today’s world is shopping online. It is convenient, easy, and saves a great deal of time, not to mention that it, in many cases, saves you a great deal of money at the same time. However, while shopping online is the latest and greatest trend for consumers, hackers and other dishonest people have also turned to online shopping as a way to obtain credit card information for fraudulent use.
You take a risk every time you use your computer and the internet to do your shopping, however, if you know what to do and what to look for, you can take steps to ensure that you do everything possible to protect your credit card information.
Safe and Secure – That’s the Ticket
Before you start shopping on ANY website and provide your credit card information, you want to be sure that the website you are shopping with has taken measures to secure your order and payment. There are two specific things you want to look for:
Secure Website Address
The encryption sign can be found on the bottom of the webpage you are viewing. This typically looks like a padlock. An “open” padlock indicates that the website is not secure. It will not encrypt your credit information when you provide it. A “closed” padlock indicates that the site is using security and encrypts the information you provide. Typically, this is shown on the website page that is asking for this information.
A secure website address is a good way to tell that the information you provide is secure as well. When asked to provide your credit card information look at the website address. https:// indicates a secure website; http:// indicates that the website is not secure.
Check Your Credit Card
It is advisable to make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your card, as well as benefits. Use only cards that protect you and your liability if something were to occur. Some credit cards protect you entirely against credit card fraud while others will have a liability limit.
It is a good idea that you keep track of your credit card statements and your purchases. If you notice things out of place, it is important to contact your credit card company immediately to take action and remedy the situation.
Know Where Your Information Is Going
The most important thing in protecting your credit card information is that you trust the website you are conducting online shopping with. Some things to ask yourself include:
Does the company sell my information to other companies?
Did I read the fine print and understand it?
Does the company store my credit card information?
If so, where is this information stored? An online database, their own business files, or both?
When filling out credit card payment forms, what information is required?
The security for many online shopping sites has been beefed up. At one time, it was only necessary to provide your credit card number, expiration date, name, and address. Well, it turned out that hackers and scammers had the ability to obtain this information in multiple ways. Now, more and more sites are requiring that you provide the CVC2 code, which is a series of three digits located on the back of the credit card.
Make sure the site you do your online shopping with is secure, safe, and requires the information you deem pertinent to ensure fraudulent activity does not occur on their site.
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