Internet shopping has become without doubt the most popular and fastest way to make purchases. With the rapid growth of online stores, people now find it a lot easier to shop for their stuff online instead of physically wandering through stores and markets in their towns. Moreover, you can purchase any product from anywhere in the world with just a few clicks on your mouse. With fast shipping and insane discounts, internet shopping has remarkably trumped over regular shopping methods. However, the number of cyber crimes and internet scams has equally increased since shoppers are required to provide their credit card information in order to make a purchase. Although, a lot of online stores offer guaranteed secure payment methods, hackers and scammers manage to hack and rob vulnerable accounts. So what can you possibly do to protect your credit card from cyber threats?
How to Protect Your Credit Card When You’re Shopping Online
“According to the FTC, more than 700,000 consumer complaints in 2010 were fraud related.Â Consumers reported paying over $1.7 billion for those complaints. Scam victim Isolina Nunez and finance host and credit expert Erica Sandberg have teamed with Western Union to help bring light to holiday scams.”
Consequently, there are some necessary measures you should take before going shopping on the internet in order to protect your credit card and make safe purchases.
In this article we explain 5 of the simplest and most effective ways that will protect your credit card information when you are browsing the web.
1- Use Strong Passwords
We briefly discussed in this article how passwords can be risky when it comes to safe web browsing. If you create an account on any shopping website you will be required to insert a minimum of 8 characters. The trick is how you create a strong password that can’t be easily broken by hackers or phishers. Adding a string of consecutive numbers for your password is truly the most awful thing that you should stop doing. Also, inventing a short complex password, like “D$%#^&*” is not as secure as you may think. In fact, the idea behind a sturdy password is a creating long string of known words with no correlation, like “jockeysalamandersizzlingpneumonia”. This kind of password (jockey/salamander/sizzling/pneumonia) is much more stronger than symbols or predictable text and will help you protect your credit card whenever you go shopping online.
2- Avoid E-mails and Social Networks
Using your credit card information via e-mails or in private messages over social networks (like: Facebook) will only make it easier for scammers to hack into your account. In order to protect your credit card information, you need to use “data encryption services, such as Privaroria Secure Data and Message Storage.” Otherwise, you’d be presenting your life savings to hackers on a silver platter.
3- Use a VPN
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are one of the best and most secure ways to protect your credit card while you’re making your purchases online. VPNs are tools used to encrypt personal and sensitive information, like: credit card information and password when you’re surfing the internet. Simply put, a virtual private network service masks your IP address and tunnels your personal data into an encrypted tunnel within the internet until it reaches the desired destination. In this way, hackers or scammers who can steal your money and information through your real IP address (location) will be tricked into following a shell IP. VPNs come in many packages and features, but here are some of the best VPN services that will assuredly protect your credit card whenever you go on an online shopping spree.
Not only do VPNs protect your credit card and personal information on the internet, but VPNs help you bypass geo-restricted web content and gain access to blocked websites from anywhere in the world. Moreover, virtual private networks provide you with anonymity when you’re surfing the web.
4- Never Perform Transactions on Public Networks
If you want to protect your credit card over the internet, you must know that public networks, such as: public Wi-fi and hotspots are one of the most common gateways used by hackers and phishers to steal your credit card information and hack into you bank account. Statistically speaking, “over 60% of all free Wi-Fi spots are exposed to hacking. This cyber attack can take less than 2 seconds.” Therefore, to protect your credit card, you mustn’t go shopping online on public networks, and use secure networks instead.
5- Keep Track of Your Online Purchases
Another way to protect your credit card and do safe Internet shopping “is by keeping track of your expenses with the help of a special email folder (you’ll be getting an email confirmation for just about anything you buy online,) in a notebook or in a spreadsheet.
You also want to check your monthly credit card statement for any incorrect or suspicious information.”