How to Shop Safely Online When Using a Credit or Debit Card

Author: PeopleFinders on September 16th, 2019
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Online shopping is more popular than ever, and that means you’re probably doing 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 sometimes even more so. Online shoppers can easily trick you into giving out your payment or personal information, then sell that information to the highest bidder. So how do you make sure you’re shopping safely? Here are a few different ways.

Trust Third-Party Sources

The reviews on a company’s website can be very helpful, but they’re 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 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. Although it doesn’t mean that you’re definitely going to get exactly what you ordered, 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 on the website. 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, who will give 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 extremely important to keep an eye on your personal information. That includes your credit card information, but it’s not only limited to your credit cards. 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, keep an eye on it with PeopleFinders.

PeopleFinders has records for millions of American adults, and that means you can use it to make sure no one’s leaked your information online. After you’ve made your purchase, perform a people search on yourself with PeopleFinders a few times in the following weeks. If you notice that extra information is showing up, that could be a sign that your information’s been compromised. Then, you can take steps to clean it off the internet, so you can be secure once again.

Conclusion

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 and other shady people can also 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 can help you stop them. Read the PeopleFinders blog for other ingenious ways to use the powerful tools available at PeopleFinders.

Image attribution: sasun Bughdaryan – stock.adobe.com

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