Is it safe to use a credit card online? Today it is nearly impossible to go through life without using your credit card online. From booking travel to buying things, online credit card use is here to stay. But is it safe? There are some things that you need to know to make it as safe as it can be.
From the beginning of modern time people have found ways to steal and scam and that will likely always be. However, there are things you can do to be safe. Using credit cards online is usually pretty safe – when you consider the huge number of transactions done online every day the number that result in fraud are really pretty low, but it happens.
Fortunately, most credit card issuers (banks) offer easy to use fraud protection. This means that if someone gets hold of your card and charges on it you usually are not liable for the charges. The key is to check your statement every month and report any issues immediately. In addition, if you lose your card report it immediately.
When you are shopping for a credit card online you want to look at fraud protection. Choosing a company that makes it easy to get erroneous charges removed from your card is important. If you don’t understand the fine print call the credit card company and ask how they work when your card is lost, stolen or used without your permission.
There are things that you can do to protect yourself as well. When you shop online try to stick to reputable retailers – name brands that you know. Ensure you are on the right website as well – be careful of imitators. For example, did you know that whitehouse.com is not a government site but rather an adult entertainment site of questionable content? There can easily be companies who are masquerading as big businesses, counting on people to misspell web addresses or click bad links.
Always look around and ensure things look “right” with a website. Ensure that you see the company name, spelled correctly, in the address bar and that logos “look right.” Check that any certifications that appear on the site are real, active links. If it feels wrong don’t shop there.
Some banks give out something called a “virtual account number” to make shopping using a credit card online safer. You need to check with your bank as only a few banks do this, including Discover. What happens is that if you plan to make an online purchase you can go online through your account and request a temporary virtual number to shop with. This is a one-time use credit card number that is connected to your account. If someone steels it after you use it is expired and worthless to them.
Keeping your financial information safe is up to you, for the most part. You need to stick with reputable parties, consider using third party services like Paypal, where you can hook up a credit card once and then pay people securely. Watch your statements and report anything suspicious. The truth is that while credit card fraud does happen a lot, many people make hundreds of online transactions with no trouble at all. So just exercise caution, and choose a card with good fraud protection, and then shop on!
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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on CreditCardIdeas.com is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.