September 25, 2023

Owl Puss

Find Yourself

Top 12 Tips to Protect Your Credit Card Information When Shopping Online

Ketki Jadhav

Aug 03, 2023 / Reading Time: Approx. 4.5 mins

Listen to Top 12 Tips to Protect Your Credit Card Information When Shopping Online

00:00 00:00

Among the various online transaction methods available, credit cards have become one of the most preferred choices due to its several advantages, such as the ability to make purchases without immediate out-of-pocket payments, convenient payments, and transaction conversions into EMIs. While credit cards are generally considered a secure payment option, you, the cardholder, must be cautious to prevent credit card information theft and avoid online credit card fraud.

To ensure credit card security during online shopping, you must be aware of the credit card security tips and how to protect your credit card information online. This article enumerates the top 12 tips to protect your credit card information when shopping online.

Here’s how to protect your credit card information when shopping online:

1. Designate only one card for online transactions:

Assign a single credit card exclusively for all your online transactions. Doing this reduces the risk of exposing multiple accounts to potential hackers and makes it simpler to detect unauthorised charges. Some banks even provide dedicated cards specifically for online use. Furthermore, ensure that you enable text messages or email notifications for every purchase made on your account. Instead of creating an account that stores your credit card information in a profile, it is advisable to check out as a guest to avoid online shopping scams.

2. Use only trusted websites for credit card transactions:

Another online shopping security tip to ensure credit card security while shopping online is to verify the website’s security before proceeding. To determine the website’s authenticity and safety measures, look for specific indicators of a secure connection, such as the presence of an “s” after “http” in the website address, indicating the usage of the HTTPS protocol. Moreover, check for a lock icon in the browser’s address bar, which signifies the website’s possession of a valid SSL certificate and the provision of a secure encrypted connection. These security features safeguard against fraudulent activities and protect your credit card details from scammers. Using secure websites for online shopping, you can effectively minimise the risk of falling victim to online scams, identity theft, or unauthorised access to your financial data.

3. Never use public Wi-Fi for making online transactions:

Fraudsters and scammers actively search for data on public Wi-Fi networks from crowded areas like cafes, railway stations, airports, etc., exploiting the shared signal to intercept and access sensitive information, including credit card details. Hence, it is advisable to only use virtual private networks for online shopping or to enter any sensitive information.

4. Set a transaction limit on online credit card transactions:

Setting a maximum limit for online credit card transactions can help minimise potential losses in case of unauthorised access or fraudulent activities during online shopping. You can set such limits for online credit card transactions by logging into your online credit card account or Internet banking profile.

5. Never store your credit card details online:

Reliable and well-established platforms like Google Pay and PayPal offer secure payment gateways and implement strict measures to safeguard your sensitive information. Hence, it is generally considered safe to trust such reputable payment portals for storing your card number. Nevertheless, an even more secure approach is to refrain from using the “remember card details” option on any website or portal, regardless of its reputation. By not using this option, you effectively reduce the chances of your credit card information being stored on multiple platforms, thus minimising the potential target points for hackers. Instead, it is advisable to manually enter your card details each time you conduct a transaction, granting you greater control over the storage and transmission of your sensitive financial data. This simple precaution significantly enhances your Mastercard, RuPay, or Visa security, reducing the risk of any potential compromise or misuse.

6. Use a strong PIN and Password:

Using a PIN adds an extra layer of credit card security to safeguard your transactions. To enhance its effectiveness, ensure your PIN is not easily guessable and avoid apparent choices. Changing your PIN regularly, say every six months, makes your credit card less vulnerable to fraud attempts.

Similarly, for Internet banking and online credit card accounts, it is crucial to use unique and complex passwords. Choose lengthy passwords containing a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols. Creating a memorable phrase or sentence password with added complexity is a smart approach. To further protect your information, it is best to use two-factor authentication for online shopping.

7. Use Virtual Account Numbers:

Contact your credit card company to inquire about the availability of a Virtual Account Number. This service generates a unique and temporary card number for each online purchase you make. Your actual credit card information remains concealed during the checkout process, while the temporary number is still associated with your account to record your transaction history. If hackers acquire your data later, they will not have access to your real card number.

8. Install a trusted antivirus software:

You should ensure that you purchase reliable antivirus software for your laptop, mobile, and other devices to protect your sensitive information, like credit card details and internet banking credentials, from fraudsters and hackers. Besides, you should make sure to install it properly and renew it on time to ensure uninterrupted credit card security.

9. Check your credit card statements regularly:

While it may be time-consuming, regularly reviewing your credit card statement every week/month is a beneficial habit. This lets you quickly identify unauthorised transactions and promptly report them to the credit card company. You have a 30-day window to notify the credit card company of any misuse. However, the credit card holder may become responsible for the fraudulent charges if there is a delay beyond this period.

10. Check the security settings of your devices:

Regularly review the security settings of your devices to stay vigilant, as hackers and fraudsters can use flaws in browser and operating system security systems to gain access to sensitive information.

11. Turn on the suspicious transaction alerts:

Most credit card companies offer this feature, which notifies you immediately if any suspicious or unusual transactions are detected on your credit card. Enabling this alert can help you quickly respond to potential fraud and take appropriate action to safeguard your credit card information.

12. Keep up with the updates:

Before starting online credit card shopping, it is essential to ensure that your device is up to date. Outdated devices are more susceptible to fraudsters and hackers who might attempt to access your personal information. Nowadays, almost all mobile devices and computers provide alerts when a software update is due. If you are unsure about the last update, you can check your device’s settings to check if your computer or phone requires an update. By keeping your device up to date, you enhance its security and reduce the risk of potential data breaches while shopping online.

To conclude:

By being proactive and following these safe online shopping practices, you can confidently make your online credit card transactions, knowing that your credit card information is well-protected. Remember, safeguarding your financial data is not just good practice; it is essential for maintaining financial security and peace of mind in today’s interconnected world. Stay informed, stay cautious, and take control of your online transactions to safeguard your credit card information effectively. Happy and secure online shopping!

Join Now: PersonalFN is now on Telegram. Join FREE Today to get PersonalFN’s newsletter ‘Daily Wealth Letter’ and Exclusive Updates on Mutual Funds.

KETKI JADHAV is a Content Writer at PersonalFN since August 2021. She is an MBA (Finance) and has over seven years of experience in Retail Banking. Ketki specialises in covering articles around banking, insurance, personal finance, and mutual funds and has been doing it for over three years now.

Disclaimer: Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.

This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to influence your investment decisions. It should not be treated as a mutual fund recommendation or advice to make an investment decision in the above-mentioned schemes.