How to Protect Your Identity When Shopping Online

How to Protect Your Identity When Shopping Online

To This Festive Season

#BeAware Of #OnlineShoppingFraud

For all its convenience, online shopping—through websites or apps—comes with risks. Identity theft  is increasing in frequency as imposters collect personally identifiable information available for sale by hackers. Credit card fraud is another risk. Staying safe while shopping online is paramount, and knowledgeable shoppers know the best approaches.

Choose Credit Card Over Debit Card

You probably don’t often hear advice to use a credit card instead of a debit card or cash, but if you can do it responsibly, you absolutely should. Unlike debit cards, credit cards offer protection from identity theft. 

Use Disposable Prepaid Credit

Even better than using a credit card is to use a disposable credit card, which is also called a prepaid credit card. Disposable credit cards work like most gift cards. Add a specified dollar amount to the card, and it’s good until that amount is gone.

Verify Website Security

Technology has advanced to where most online websites offer secure shopping. But if they don’t, savvy criminals can capture everything you enter into a form on those sites, including your personal data and credit information. Limit yourself to secure sites. You can tell if a site is secure by the URL. 

Don’t Shop on a Shared Device in Public

Do your online shopping at home on your computer or smartphone. At home, you know who accesses the device. If you’re using a public computer or network to do your shopping—at the library, an internet cafe, or at work—you have no control over who also might be using that device or network. Nor can you control what kind of spyware or malware might be infecting that computer. Therefore, it’s much safer to shop at home where you know both the device and your network are secure.

Don’t Store Information Elsewhere

Many shopping sites, such as Amazon.com’s OneClick shopping, offer the ability to save your credit card information on their servers to speed up the shopping process. It’s definitely faster, but there are some risks to maintaining your personal information elsewhere. If a company you shop with has a data breach, your personal information could be put at risk. It takes a little longer, but instead of storing your information on a server over which you have no control, just enter it yourself each time you shop.

Article By – Harshita C. Jadhav

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