The idea of having your personal information stolen through online fraud is scary for most people. However, in general, making purchases online is safe as long as you make sure that:
- The online store is reputable (check with the Better Business Bureau if you’re not sure).
- The online store uses a firewall for protection along with encryption software to protect your personal and financial information from getting into the wrong hands. Look for an unbroken padlock or key on your computer screen before making a purchase.
- You never respond to emails requesting verification of your personal and credit card information. This is known as phishing. If you ever get an email that appears to be from your bank asking you to immediately verify your account details, stop! If you respond to this kind of email, you could find yourself a victim of online fraud. Once you click on the given link, you’ll be brought to a page where you’ll be asked to key in things like your bank account number, passwords, social security numbers, etc. Don’t do it!
Some people choose to have a separate credit card with a lower limit on it for their online shopping. This can be an effective strategy - but it’s a hassle to have the separate card, the separate bill, and sometimes clever criminals can use these cards to get access to more credit.
For those who want to play it safe, you can effectively mitigate the risk of credit card fraud by choosing an alternative payment method online like eBillme. That way, your payment is made through the secure bank-to-bank system, with no transmission of personal or financial information to unknown parties. The threat of credit card fraud online is thereby easily and quickly reduced.