Check out some important credit card security tips for online purchases
Check out some important credit card security tips for online purchases

Shopping online with a credit card is much safer than using a debit card. But even so, you need to be vigilant and pay close attention to credit card protection. While new chip credit cards help prevent cloning, scammers can still use your account online if it gets stolen.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, there were nearly 1.1 million reports of fraud, identity theft and related crimes, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Online fraud is an ongoing threat, but you can improve the security of your credit card by following these steps. Here are five ways to practice credit card security when shopping online.

1. Practice credit card security from the start

Here are some steps you need to take to keep you safe from viruses. Don’t underestimate the destructiveness of your computer being hijacked by malware, malware that can collect and share your personal and financial information.


Protect your device. Before you buy anything online, you need to make sure your computer has a firewall and it is turned on. Also, make sure your device comes with software that protects against viruses, spyware, and other threats. I use Norton, but there are plenty of options to choose from.

Download updates from your provider. You need to stay up to date. As cybercriminals try new hacking methods, antivirus vendors adapt their products to new risks.

Change your password regularly. Passwords are updated approximately every three months. And don’t use your cat’s name or your birthday. There are many free password management tools at your disposal. Choose one and use a complex password with random capitalization and symbols.


Keep account information private. Do not share your credentials with anyone. Do not share over the phone or in public places where they may be overheard.

2. Beware of Phishing Scams

Phishing scams can come in the form of emails, text messages or phone calls. You will receive an email that appears to be from a legitimate company, prompting you to click on a link or attachment. However, as soon as you click on a link or open an attachment, your data can be stolen by malware.

Another example of a phishing scam is impersonating a charity asking for donations. This usually coincides with a major disaster in the news, such as a B. hurricane or a pandemic. You’ll be told it’s easy to help – all you need to do is click the link, of course. If you really want to contribute to a charity, head over to the Charity Navigator and find out if the charity is real.

Here are some signs that you are dealing with a phishing scam:

  • Emails have misspelled words and odd sentence structures. Liars may be smart, but they’re usually not great writers.
  • A trusted financial institution calls you or asks you to email or text your credentials. Your bank or credit card issuer will never require sensitive information to be sent this way.
  • A text message will alert you that your account information has been compromised. You will be prompted to click a link to update your information. The link then takes you to a malicious website that steals your sensitive information. By the way, mobile phishing is also known as smishing.
  • An email stating that you must take immediate action. This may include special offers at low prices on items that are in high demand. Hopefully you will respond emotionally to accepting this offer. Of course supplies are limited so you have to hurry!

3. Protect yourself online

Now that your device is safe, you must be aware of what can happen if you’re not careful while shopping online.

  • Note the extra “s” in the URL. On unsecured sites, you’ll see “http://” at the beginning of a web address (also known as a URL). But on secure sites, you’ll see “https://” in the address. The “s” stands for “safe”. It’s easy to think you’re on a bank’s website when you’re not actually there. If you don’t see the very important “s” in the URL, please do not provide account information.
  • Don’t shop over public WiFi. Surfing the internet while drinking three espresso shots is fine, but not shopping over the cafe’s Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals can also access this WiFi signal and can intercept your data. Now, when you have access to a virtual private network or VPN, you’ll be logged into a password-protected network and your information won’t be compromised by hackers.
  • Use a virtual credit card number. A virtual credit card is one way to keep your account safe. This is not the plastic card you are holding. This is a randomly generated number that changes when you buy something online with a real credit card. Your real account number is never stored on the target website. If the merchant’s website is hacked, the scammer will not be able to use the obtained virtual number. However, not all issuers offer this feature, so check with your issuer if it’s right for you. You can also use Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode to enroll if your card issuer does not provide additional security for the credit card you use.
  • Use a digital wallet. With a digital wallet, you can pay for purchases with your smartphone. These applications provide encryption as well as additional protections such as authorization required by B. These features make it difficult to steal your confidential information. PayPal also acts as a digital wallet that provides more credit card security. If you have the option, pay online with PayPal for extra protection.
  • Set up transaction notifications. You can turn on purchase notifications and be notified when your card is used for a purchase. Activate notifications through your preferred mobile banking app, such as the B. Chase mobile app. Follow the instructions on your phone to set up your digital wallet and turn on purchase notifications via email, text message or push notification. This is a great way to spot fraudulent purchases almost instantly.

4. View your credit card account online

Credit card fraud totals $181 million in 2021, according to the 2021 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. You can reduce your chances of falling victim to scams by frequently checking your account information online.

You’d be surprised how little time this takes. Review your purchases online and find purchases not made by you or an authorized user. If you spot a fraudulent purchase, it means someone has stolen your credit card account and used them to make purchases. Monitoring your account will help you spot credit card fraud early. Also look for small amounts under $10. Sometimes criminals use the card to make small purchases to verify that the card is a “live” card.

However, checking your credit card account can only help you monitor existing accounts. To find out if someone has stolen your identity and opened a new account in your name, you need to check your free credit report. Check the list of accounts and make sure you have each one opened.

5. Immediately report fraud

If you spot a fraudulent purchase or lose your credit card, report it to your credit card issuer immediately. It can freeze your account and stop further purchases. If you find out that a new account has been opened in your name, you must also report it as soon as possible. If you are a victim of fraud or identity theft, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a list of steps and contact information for credit bureaus.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a sense of urgency when dealing with fraud or identity theft. U.S. law limits your damages to $50. However, many issuers will not be held liable if you report fraud in a timely manner.

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