How to Shop Safely Online Using a Credit Card
Online shopping is more popular than ever, and that means you probably do it fairly frequently. At this point in the technology age, the question isn’t usually whether you’re shopping online–it’s whether you’re shopping online safely.
It’s important to remember that safety online is just as important as safety in the physical world. And, at certain times, it’s even more important.
Online sellers can easily trick you into giving out your payment or other personal information, and then sell that information to the highest bidder.
So how do you make sure you’re shopping safely? Here are a few different ways:
-Look for 3rd-party reviewers
-Check a site’s SSL certificate
-Use secure online payment processors
-Make sure a credit card is protected from fraud
-Keep track of your information
Trust Third-Party Sources
The reviews on a company’s website can be very helpful, but they’re probably not going to be 100% accurate. After all, if a company has its own website, it’s fairly easy for the company to create fake reviews that give it a much more legitimate appearance.
That’s where third-party reviewers come in. These sites either aggregate customer reviews or do their own reviews. And they’re not owned or sponsored by the companies in question. That means they’re more likely to be objective, and could let you know whether the company’s legitimate or a scam.
Look at the Company’s Safety Certificate
An SSL certificate, commonly referred to as a safety certificate, is an important part of making sure that you’re shopping safely. This certificate represents a contract between an SSL Certificate Authority and the company, and it means that the Certificate Authority has authenticated that company’s identity.
The presence of an SSL certificate doesn’t automatically guarantee that you’re definitely going to get exactly what you ordered. But it does mean that you’re buying from a genuine company, which increases your safety.
Try to Use Payment Processors
Third-party payment processors allow you to go through a trusted company rather than inputting your payment information directly onto an e-commerce site. This makes many people feel safer.
For example, rather than giving a new company your information directly, you can sign into PayPal or Visa Checkout. They will process and then issue your payment to the company through an additional encrypted level of safety. That means you can make purchases using your preferred card or bank account without having to give your card information to a potentially shady company.
Use Credit Cards With Good Fraud Protection
Different credit cards have different types of fraud protection. It’s important to check the type of fraud protection that your card has.
Is there a time limit during which you can file for an unauthorized charge? Can you place a freeze on your card online if you notice an unauthorized charge. Or do you have to call or email to do it?
These are all important things to ask when using a credit card to make a purchase online. If you’re using a bank card, brush up on your bank’s fraud protection policies as well.
Keep an Eye on Your Personal Information
After you make a purchase online, especially if you did it on a site you haven’t used before, it’s important to keep an eye on your personal information. Your personal information, which includes your name and address, is information that you have to provide to a company in order to ship products to your door.
To make sure your personal information stays your own, try to keep an eye on it with a site like PeopleFinders.
PeopleFinders has access to public records and publicly available information for millions of American adults, possibly including yours. That means you can use the site to try and make sure no one’s leaked your information online.
Assuming you buy from and interact with online entities regularly, it’s just a good idea to also regularly perform a people search on yourself on PeopleFinders. If you notice that unauthorized or incorrect information has started showing up, that could be a sign that your information’s been compromised.
Discovering a possible compromise of your data early means you can take steps to clean it up in a more timely manner. Then, you can feel secure once again.
It’s important to stay safe when making online purchases. Sure, you can use online shopping for good: it’s a great way to buy the products you want and need without ever having to leave your home.
But it’s also very accessible, which means that scammers can create businesses with no intention of actually shipping you the products. If a business is actually a scammer looking to profit off your information, PeopleFinders may be able to help you stop them.
Image attribution: sasun Bughdaryan – stock.adobe.comTags: Amazon, Online Safety, Safety Tips, Scammer, Shopping Online
Categorized in: Culture