Written by Olavi Kruusimaa
The internet, introduction of mobile banking and generally eCommerce have made online shopping to be easy and very convenient. Nowadays, you don’t even have to go to shops as deliveries are done for free. But as with anything good, there is also its dark side. Since online shopping uses the internet to carry out transactions, online shoppers are exposed to various internet risks, threats, and vulnerabilities. The most common ones in online shopping include identity theft and fraud which target your credit card. To avoid these risks, here are tips that can help keep your credit card safe when shopping online:
1. Shop at established businesses
Established businesses are reputable, and hence they are rarely hit by fraudulent activities and even identity theft. They also have mechanisms that ensure your credit card information is safe when doing your online shopping. Such mechanisms include using generated virtual numbers instead of your actual credit card numbers. At times, finding these established online businesses can be a hard task especially when you are new to online shopping. All you have to do is look for customer reviews as they will give you some of the vital information.
2. Keep your passwords secret and use strong passwords
Passwords are meant to keep our information safe, and this includes your credit card information. To avoid being compromised, use a secure password which is at least 12 characters long with uppercase and lower-case letters, numbers and special symbols. Also, don’t use the same password on different accounts. Since longer passwords are hard to remember, you can use a password manager. A password manager will help you store your password safely without having to write it on your notebook.
3. Check your account often (sign up to alerts about any unusual activity)
You should always check your credit card account activities more often as you check your email. This enables you to detect fraudulent activities as soon as possible and hence report them to the authorities. Also, sign up for alerts about any activity that happens on your account. You should do this to all the accounts that are linked to your credit card. Alerts help you monitor your card in a real-time manner.
4. Use a VPN when shopping on public WiFi
Most public WiFi hotspots are unsecured given the fact that a lot of people can connect to it. This means even cybercriminals can be connected to the same public WiFi you are using. Cybercriminals use public WiFi as their hub to carry out fraudulent activities. With various tools, they can employ endpoint attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, spoofing, and eavesdropping. These techniques give them access to your personal information including credit card details if by chance you were doing online shopping. To avoid being a victim of their attacks, always use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, and this makes sure you are secure, and your privacy is intact.
5. Keep your card details private (Don’t let anyone see it when you’re out in public)
Privacy and confidentiality are the keys to making sure your credit card is safe. You are the only one who is supposed to know details about your card. Always take measures that ensure your card details are private.