Using your credit card for online purchases is easy and convenient. But with that convenience also comes a price. There is always a chance of your credit card number getting stolen or compromised. But you can take several precautions to help keep your personal information private and prevent fraudulent charges made to your account that you may be responsible paying for.
Use a Disposable Number
One of the new trends in the credit card industry is to use a “dummie” number, or a disposable number. There are a couple ways to get a disposable number. One way is to purchase a disposable credit card. These cards work like gift cards and you can add money to them using your actual credit card account. When you use a disposable credit card, you don’t have to worry as much about your number getting stolen because you can’t purchase more than what is on the card. For instance, if you only have $100 available on the card and you make a $100 purchase, the card is unusable again until you add more money to it.
Some credit card companies are also offering “dummie” numbers. These look like actual account numbers but they are only good for a single use. If someone tries to make a second purchase with this one-time number, the purchase will not go through. The only drawback to this is that it makes it difficult to dispute or return a purchase using this method, but it’s great for protecting your account from fraudulent purchases.
Shop from Home
If you are shopping online from a public wifi hotspot, the person next to you or in the same area as you can sometimes see what you are doing. These hotspots are not very secure and a person with basic knowledge about hacking can get your personal information and even get into the stuff you have on your computer. When you are going to shop online, always do it from home where it is much less likely for someone to tap into your signal and get access to your credit card account and other personal information.
Look for the Security Code
When you shop online, only use websites that have a SSL, or secure socket layer. You can tell if the website this added security feature by the address in the address bar. It will start with “https” instead of simply “http.”
Use a Good Antivirus Program
A good antivirus program will help keep your computer free of malware, viruses and software programs that will log each keystroke that you make. Keylogging software is one of the main ways that people get your personal information because they can get a log of everything that you are typing. Invest in a high quality and reputable antivirus program to protect yourself when shopping online.
Even though most credit card companies do not hold you liable for all of the costs when your card is used fraudulently, it can be a big hassle to straighten out the mess. While nothing is completely foolproof when using your credit card safely online, you can take some precautions to protect yourself.