Online shopping first became widely available to the public in 1994; Amazon and eBay burst onto the scene in 1995. Since then online shopping has become an everyday occurrence for people all over the world, and with that, increasing cases of credit card fraud.
Concern for online safety has existed for as long as there’s been online credit card transactions. Using your credit card online is incredibly convenient but it is also potentially dangerous. Anytime your information is recorded there is a possibility that it can be stolen. Online credit card fraud is on the rise, with the number of reported cases increasing by over 44% in the last two years.
Even though deep learning and neural network batch size limits have significantly improved the detection of credit card fraud, shopping online can still result in thieves capturing your information. The only way to fully protect your information is to never use a credit card online. That is not a practical solution in today’s world, where online shopping is a way of life.
When you choose to shop online, be as safe as possible by following these seven safety tips.
1. Always Shop on Secured Networks
Open networks are easily hackable and your information is not safe. Do not shop while using public wifi, especially if the network is not password protected. Also be sure to check the shopping website and see that it is encryption-protected. The web address should start with “HTTPS” if the site is secure.
2. Do Not Send Your Credit Card Number Over Email
Do not send your information to a vendor via email. Emails are never a safe vehicle for your personal information. If the vendor does not offer an encryption-protected way to capture your credit card information, consider paying by mail or find another vendor.
3. Keep Your Credit Card Number and CVV Code Private
As online shopping has become more common people have become accustomed to inputting their credit card information in many different applications. The more often credit cards are used, the less cautious people become. Do not underestimate the power of taking simple precautions to keep your credit card number and your CVV code confidential: only use encrypted sites, do not write these numbers in emails or texts, take care when discarding papers like bills that may have this data written on them.
4. Do Not Allow Shopping Sites to Store Your Credit Card Information
If a shopping site asks if you would like to save your data for future transactions, always say no. When your information is saved in a database you are susceptible to hackers and data theft. Check the presets on your computer to disable autofill as well, since those are databases too.
5. Review Your Statements
Online billing makes it easy to skip this step, but simply reviewing your statements every month to check for transactions that you did not make is a great way to foil credit card fraud. Report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
6. Don’t Post or Text Pictures of Your Credit Cards
Even if you cover up some of the numbers, pictures of your credit cards are never safe to send over email or text. If your information must be sent, encrypted websites are the safest vehicle.
7. Avoid Using Debit Cards Online
Even when there is a “credit” option, debit cards are more vulnerable to hacking and fraud. Additionally, most credit cards have some kind of fraud protection included in their contract, so you can feel more confident that if something goes wrong you will have recourse with the bank. Try to choose a traditional credit card for your online shopping if at all possible.
By following these seven safety tips you can feel confident that your credit card information will stay safe while you are shopping online and will avoid credit card fraud.