Safety tips for shopping online
Credit card fraud seems to be everywhere, and thieves love to use the Internet to steal people’s credit card information, due to the anonymity it provides. Many consumers think that the only way to protect themselves is to simply avoid shopping online altogether. While that’s one way to prevent your credit card information from being stolen, it also means you’ll never be able to shop online again. The online market for goods and services is growing at a rapid rate because consumers know that they can quickly find the best deals when they shop online. By stopping shopping online, one would be giving up all these great deals. Using this method to prevent credit card fraud is like deciding never to fly in an airplane again to avoid terrorists. It is true that one would not become the victim of any terrorist plot involving airplanes, but that also means having to deal with the inconvenience of not being able to fly when traveling. Like anything else in life, the key is not to avoid the problem, but to understand the problem and adopt a smart strategy to minimize the risk of being a victim of credit card fraud while shopping online.
First, let’s talk about the steps that can be taken if credit card fraud has already occurred. There is no need to panic. Once the cardholder reports that their credit card information has been compromised, the credit card company will not hold the cardholder responsible for any fraudulent charges, including charges made prior to reporting that credit card information has been stolen. The credit card company will shut down that card from being used anymore and issue a new one in about a week or two, but this is still an inconvenience most people would rather not deal with, if possible.
Online shoppers can then use Google’s safe browsing tool to check if a website is safe to visit, assuming one trusts Google, of course. This tool will report if a website is suspicious or not, when Google last scanned it, if the website did something suspicious in the past, and it will report if it is linked to any suspicious website, even if the site itself is not doing. nothing suspicious. To see if a website is safe, simply copy and paste “http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=” into the address field of the browser and then add the URL of the site to be visited. For example, on a business website, simply enter “http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=websiteurlhere.com” in the address bar of the browser you are using. Once entered, the Google tool will display a simple half-page report on whether or not the site in question is safe.
Another layer of protection that can be used when shopping online is using trusted third-party payment methods. Almost everyone has heard of PayPal. They are probably the most widely used third-party payment method in the world. They allow customers to make payments for goods and services through them. For example, this means that when a customer buys something, they are not paying directly to the website they are buying from. She is paying the amount owed to PayPal, and then PayPal pays the merchant, which means that the merchant never sees her credit card information and her credit card information was never transmitted over the internet during this transaction . It does not matter if the customer buys from one website or from a hundred websites. As long as a third-party payment method was used, the credit card information was never transmitted, so the information is not floating online on every website a purchase was made from. Other third-party payment methods similar to PayPal include Google Wallet and Amazon Payments.
Armed with this information, online shoppers can now ensure that the websites they visit are safe to buy and also avoid entering sensitive information when shopping. So there’s no need to pass up all the great deals when shopping online for fear of having your credit card information stolen.