- Only transact over sites you trust
- Don’t allow site to store card information
- Stay away from online shopping over a public network
- Make sure credit card details entry page is secure
With the onslaught of online shopping and transactions, your credit card could be vulnerable to hackers who have been getting smarter by the day. And there is no reason to think that your card’s safety is fool-proof against the burgeoning cases of cybercrime.
While none can deny the convenience of shopping online, you can always be a little prudent while transacting over the internet.
Listed below are a few tips that can safeguard against identity theft and credit card fraud while shopping online:
Restrict usage of credit cards only to websites that you can bank on
With a credit card, it is imperative that you use it only with websites that you’re familiar with or the ones that are used by a large section of the population, such as websites of banks or other government bodies. Do not click on unsolicited links or the ones that seem like spam. The reason is clicking on them might land you on to a fake website, the only purpose of which is to hack your credit card details. Rather, type the site URL on the browser and log into the authentic website.
Avoid shopping/transacting on public networks
Usually, public networks are less secured; therefore, chances of your credit card information being stolen are more when you transact with a public computer/network. These computers have something known as keylogger software that captures and records all your keystrokes and personal details.Avoid using your own system as well, as long as it is connected to the internet over public Wi-Fi. Hackers generally have access to such signals and can easily pick up on information during transmission. Next time, think twice before using the Wi-Fi at the nearby coffee shop!
Check for viruses in your system
Make sure your system is fitted with only the leading anti-virus software that is available. Don’t be tricked into downloading any software that appears as a pop-up advertisement or the ones that you get in your mail inbox.
Check for the security of the credit card details entry/payment gateway page
The way you can do this is by looking for ‘https’ prefixed to the URL on the browser’s address bar. It will also come with a padlock sign, indicating that the website is secured and encrypted. Once you find these two, you can be certain that the site is secure and that your information would be treated as confidential.
Know what information a website could possibly need (and what they shouldn’t ask for)
When you are transacting online, remember the four points every website should be ideally asking you – full credit card number, date of expiry, the 3-digit CVV number and the address for shipping the product. Usually, no website is authorized to ask for anything beyond these details.Also, should you get an email asking for your credit card number, treat the mail like what is actually is – spam, or a hoax that is intended to trick your card details out of you. Should there be any genuine issue with the delivery, the retailer will usually give a ring back or send a mail asking you to revert to their website for clarification.
Don’t allow the site to store any information
Make it your rule of thumb – the moment any site asks whether it should ‘remember’ your password, click on ‘No’. You obviously wouldn’t want hackers to easily access details due to a mistake as elementary as this. Similarly, don’t opt for the feature whereby the website asks if it should store information for subsequent purchases in the future.Whenever you transact online, don’t forget to keep a copy of the confirmation or the card receipt. This way, you will be able to tally the details on the credit card statement with the receipt copies and know about any mismatch, if any.