In today’s day and age, online shopping is one of the primary methods of acquiring goods from manufacturers and companies. With this increase in online purchases, there is also a greater likelihood of getting your information stolen. Listed below are tips on how to safely shop online with your credit card.
Know Your WiFi
Today everyone accesses the internet via WiFi. This can be great but it may not be the safest for making purchases with your credit card. Always make sure that you are linked up to your private WiFi and not using public internet services or personal hot spots.
Do Your Research
Take a look around the website to look for signs of security. Most legitimate websites will have approval from security systems such as McAfee. This is a great initial indication that you are working with a secure website. You can also browse the internet looking for reviews on the site you are using to see if anyone has reported problems with purchases.
Your internet browser should have security sections that can monitor your activity and ensure that the purchases you are making are secure. Certain browsers will automatically display a secure lock icon on a website letting you know that it is safe to complete a purchase. You can also make sure your anti-virus software is active and up to date. Additionally, you can monitor security yourself by checking the web address to make sure that it states https (secure) and not HTTP (not secure).
Do Not Provide Unnecessary Information
This is where the internet scammer can do the most damage. If a website asks you for information that would not normally be required for an instore purchase, like your social security number, then you should take that as a red security flag.
Always Check Your Card Statement
It is good practice to always check your credit card following any purchase from a website. Whether on accident or with bad intentions, it is not uncommon for websites to charge your card twice for one purchase. It is also possible for a company to charge your card more than they should have. Finally, checking your statement can allow you see where exactly your money is going to ensure that sources other than the website used for the purchase are not taking money out as well.
Limit Information Storage
Certain websites may have the option to store your information on their website. While it may be safe to do this with some websites such as Amazon, it may not be safe to do with others. Make it good practice to always manually enter your credit card information and do not store the information on the website.
The internet can be a scary place, but if you take the appropriate measures, you can ensure that you are browsing the internet safely. Always trust your instincts. If a website looks sketchy than you are best just to avoid it all together. Stick to websites that you know are safe and you have experience with.