It is so easy to get carried away when shopping online. There are so many wonderful things on offer, some of which you cannot purchase in any store. Online shopping can be done at any time of the day or night. With purchases delivered to your door by courier or dropped in your letterbox, the ease and convenience of shopping online is attracting hundreds of new shoppers daily. It is therefore important to be extremely vigilant when using your credit card online. There have been many security breaches and scams targeting online shoppers. Accessing personal information is, unfortunately, quite easy for experienced hackers.
Check with your financial institution
Many banks offer credit cards with added security. This will protect your card from unauthorised use and on checkout, you will have to provide a code you created when you first obtained your card. Other cards offer the use of personal passwords or ‘tokens’ when shopping online
Check out the vendor
Before making any purchase online, read the seller’s feedback that is left by customers. Also check out how many items the seller has sold and make sure the seller’s contact details are visible. It is also important to make sure the vendor offers a secure server for purchases. The industry standard for online shopping is Secure Sockets Layer technology. When entering your credit card details to make a purchase, only proceed with a website that uses SSL. The website address should be HTTPS:, not HTTP: If there is key or unbroken padlock symbol at the bottom right hand corner of your screen, this means any private information will be encrypted.
Nominate a monetary amount
No matter how much you spend online, you should apply for a credit card specifically for online purchases only. That way you can nominate a specific monetary amount as your credit card limit.
Never send a payment via email
Email details are not fully protected and can easily be read by anyone. Never open emails from someone you don’t know. Many fake emails also contain viruses. You may get an email that seems like it is in relation to your purchase, but look for unnecessary attachments and subject matter. Most online shopping sites will use encryption technology to protect your data.
Make sure the computer you are using for online shopping has anti-virus software installed or spy-ware detectors or firewalls. Always print out a record of your transactions and check your credit card statements frequently. If you do notice any unauthorised use of your card, contact your financial institution immediately. Also choose passwords that are hard to guess.