Shopping online with credit cards has been a dilemma for most people since the early days of the internet. While the internet has evolved and new and improved security measures have been taken to enhance safety, there are still regular cases where things go wrong. With the huge increase in online identity theft, no amount of caution is ever enough, and we must do all we can to protect ourselves and our personal information.
Naturally, it may be easy to simply decide you won’t ever again use a credit card online. While there are other payment methods available on some websites, most online merchants and stores only have the credit card payment option available. With most of the best deals and the tremendous amounts of sales that can be found on the internet, radically abstaining from online purchases with credit cards may significantly hinder the purchases you participate in.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself online, first of all, whenever entering your personal information during an online purchase, be sure you are on a secure page, the most common way of checking this is locating the secure page verifier icon on your internet browser. Nonetheless, just being on a secure page does not guarantee your information won’t be stolen, as you could be the victim of spyware and may have malicious hacking software on your computer, such as a keylogger that keeps track of your every move. Be sure to have a regularly updated anti-virus and spyware software to prevent this from happening. Another point to remember, your credit card company or banking institution will never email or call you with a request for your personal information, do not volunteer this information to anyone, even if they identify themselves as employees of a financial company you deal with, or their email address seems to match the company. Credit card companies do not contact their customers that way, by being aware of the different threats out there, you can help keep your online shopping secure.
Another popular way of shopping online with credit cards is using virtual credit cards. Virtual credit cards help eliminate much of the risk involved in using your credit cards online. Virtual credit cards consist of credit cards numbers that are used a single time, once they have been used, they are no longer valid. Virtual credit card numbers can only be used on the internet; they are not valid for buying in real stores. If a hacker manages to obtain your virtual credit card number, it will not do them any good.
Although virtual credit cards are accepted by many websites, there are a few sites they cannot be used for. Most large credit card companies offer the convenience of virtual credit cards, for more information on how they work and how they can be used, contact your credit card company.