Did you buy that new DVD player online? Or maybe you found a great online discount for that flat-screen TV you bought last month. Face it. Online shopping has become part of your routine. And we can’t blame you. With online shopping, you don’t need to wait in line, commute or drive to the mall, and you get to enjoy exclusive online deals. Before you go on another online shopping spree, however, be sure that your credit card information won’t fall into the wrong hands. Keep your credit card details safe because online fraud can happen to anyone. Here’s how:
1. Stick to reliable online companies
Shop at well-established sites as much as you can. If you see shopping sites that continue to attract buyers year after year, you know they’re doing something right with how they process credit card information. Most of these well-established sites use the latest security measures to protect their customers’ credit card details. They also handle a huge number of online transactions. This means they have the resources to equip their sites with more security features.
2. Do your homework when shopping at an online store for the first time
Saw a cute pair of shoes from an online site you’ve never heard of before? Before you click on that “buy” button, do a background check first on the company. Check the contact details and see if they have a physical address, and their email and phone number are all legit. Take a look at their social media pages to verify information. Ask friends who also love buying stuff online if they’ve shopped at that site before. See if the site has an Australian ABN number (for Australian companies). Once you’re sure that the company is a real one and offers secure online buying options, then go ahead and shop your heart out.
3. Read product and service reviews
Take the time to browse through service and product testimonials. The more reliable a company is, the more positive feedback you’ll find online. You’ll also find plenty of information on the Internet about the latest scams going around. Don’t be surprised if you find out that some big companies are experiencing security issues with their online payment transactions. Remember, just because it’s a big company doesn’t mean it’s a reliable one.
4. Don’t fall for phishing emails
You’ve probably seen this kind of email. It looks like one of those updates you get from your favourite online coupon site, but it’s asking for your credit card information or log in details. As you take a closer look, however, you see that the URL is a bit different. If you do receive this kind of email, NEVER click on the link, and don’t disclose your card and login information. Delete it from your inbox and report it as spam. Contact the coupon site about this so they’ll know that someone is using their company name to steal your information.
5. Use the latest version of your Internet browser
Many browsers nowadays are equipped with tools that can help filter out potential bad sites and other security threats. Update your browser to make sure you’re using its latest security tools. For added safety, download an add-on for your browser that identifies a website’s unsafe elements. With the right online tools, you don’t have to worry too much about clicking on unsafe websites.
Online shopping has many perks, but you have to be extra careful to keep your credit card details safe. If you see a site that seems suspicious or the offer is too good to be true, trust your instinct. Close that website and move on to the next one. By knowing what to look for in an online store, you’re less likely to become a victim of online fraud.
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