Shopping online is great because it gives you the opportunity to shop for whatever it is that you need, from groceries to personal care items, clothing, and technology, from the comfort of your own home or office. But shopping online also puts you at a higher risk of having your personal information and your identity stolen. Taking the right steps to protect yourself is imperative, and you can do that with the tips below.
Use the “Privacy” Payment System: Privacy.com is the very first payments product available that will keep all of your personal and sensitive information secure, and it’s really easy to use. In fact, it’s even simpler than using a standard credit card.
Here’s how it works: Anytime you visit a new website you plan to shop at, Privacy.com generates a new credit card number that terminates itself after one transaction. You can even have it set to expire after a certain amount of money has been spent or keep it going as you would with any other credit card. The virtual cards are connected to your banking account but are never seen by merchants, thereby protecting you from data breaches, identity theft, and fraud.
To get started, users can access Privacy.com virtual cards via an iOS app, the web, and a Google Chrome and Firefox extension. From here, you’ll be able to receive a new credit card number for each shopping transaction. You can even create merchant-specific cards, such as one for Netflix and one for Amazon to keep your transactions organized and protected. Did I also mention it’s free?
Only Shop from Reputable Sellers: When you shop online, you should look for the little icon that looks like a padlock at the top of your browser that indicates the seller is reputable and is using encryption software that will securely transmit your data. Don’t proceed with giving the site any of your personal information if the site is not verified and secure.
Look for Signs That the Seller Is Legitimate: There are a lot of scams online, so you definitely want to analyze a website before you shop on it. Large retailers are safe, but if you are shopping from an independent seller that you have never heard of before, you should look for signs that the site is safe and legitimate. For example, there shouldn’t be any pop-ads, you should not be signed up for any unsolicited emails, there should be positive reviews on the store, there should be a physical address and phone number, there should be a return policy, and there should be a privacy statement.
Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks can be dangerous because they are not secure and people can hack into the data that you are transmitting. Therefore, when it comes to shopping online, stick to doing so only on a private Wi-Fi network that will protect your data because it can only be accessed with a password.
Change Your Passwords Regularly: If you shop on certain websites often, you may be tempted to just store your password and automatically sign into the sites whenever you are ready to shop. But to keep your information secure and private, you should change your passwords regularly. Make sure your passwords are difficult to guess.
By keeping the tips above in mind whenever you shop online, you can rest assured that you will be making smart choices that will keep your personal data as safe as possible. Always keep an eye on your credit card activity so that you can be alerted right away, and take action right away, should any fraudulent activity occur.