Being careful of your presence while shopping online isn’t just a piece of advice you give to your kids about stranger danger. It’s real, and the hackers and fraudsters online want to use your cards. This recent article provides shoppers with some basic tips to help combat fraud while shopping online, and we’ll go into some more detail about protecting your assets.
Be careful of the random stores online. It’s common sense – you wouldn’t shop at a sketchy store at the mall or down a dark alley, right? It’s harder to tell which sites are full of fraud, since they mimic the real thing quite convincingly. Only shop trusted sites, and if you DO want to venture out and shop that random site, do a few Google searches to make sure its legitimate. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource for ensuring that the business is an actual business.
Don’t store your credit card information on the website. Make sure that you aren’t saving the information for hackers, or even other coworkers, friends, and family, to make future purchases that you haven’t authorized.
Use a credit card, and not a debit card. Debit card hacks can empty your bank account in a manner of moments, where a credit card won’t touch your savings, or even worse, reroute your direct deposit from your job. Another word of advice, make sure you have a credit card from an issuer who will work with you if you’re ever the victim of fraud.
During the highest fraud months (think: holidays!) consider prepaid cards. Hackers won’t have your personal account information, can’t reroute your direct deposit, and won’t be able to drain your funds. Happy shopping!