There’s nothing like the feeling of snapping up a hard-earned bargain when shopping online.
There’s also nothing like the feeling of falling victim to credit card fraud.
With a number of high-profile breaches this year alone, it’s always a good time to be alert — not alarmed — about using your credit card online.
Only enter your credit card details on secure sites
By now, you hopefully know the drill. Look for an https connection in the URL, as well as a padlock or another digital security certificate to ensure that you are only entering your details on a site that encrypts the transaction end-to-end. Don’t send your credit card information over email.
Buy a prepaid card for online transactions
For those who want to keep online purchases completely separate from everyday credit card transactions, prepaid cards are an option to consider. These can either be bought online or from a traditional bricks and mortar retailer for a small fee.
Prepaid credit cards allow you to load a set amount of money at the time of purchase. The advantages are plentiful when it comes to using a prepaid card for online shopping, but the big one is that even if the card’s details are compromised somewhere along the chain, there is a limit to the amount of money that can be taken.
Some banks and financial institutions will let you generate a virtual credit card number to complete purchases. This is generally a single-use number that you can enter in place of your regular number.
Watch statements for any unusual transactions
While many banks have sophisticated 24/7 monitoring systems designed to detect fraud and unauthorised credit card use, it’s important to also keep an eye out on financial statements both online and on paper. If you spot anything suspicious, call your bank immediately.
Turn on your credit card’s added layer of security
Many credit cards will have an additional layer of security that might not be enabled by default. MasterCard has a product called SecureCode, which is a private code that you enter every time you make a transaction on a supported site, and is never disclosed to the retailer.
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