How to Stay Safe With Online Payments
When we buy things online we don’t see the person that we’re sending money to. This makes it hard to ensure that your information is going to be safe from fraud. Sometimes it’s more convenient to pay online though, or it may be the only option. Here are some tips for how to stay safe with online payments.
- Go for Credit over Debit
A credit card has better consumer protection to keep you safe from fraud and your liability will often be capped around $50, so long as you’re able to notice the extra charges before it’s too late. There’s not much liability with debit cards though. You could find yourself liable for all the fraudulent payments.
This is why it’s better to stick with credit cards. If you’re ever unsure about the safety of an online payment you can always use a one-time credit card. These generate random card numbers that are linked to your bank account and can only be used once. This, along with other credit card protections, make it more difficult for a criminal to use your money and information.
- Double-Check the URL
If you’re ever buying something online then check the URL (web address). It must start with “https” and not “http”. The extra s means that the website is running secure encryption to scramble your information and keep it safe from outsiders. Of course it doesn’t mean that you’re 100% but it is a quick check you can do to give yourself some peace of mind.
- Avoid Shopping in Public
By this we mean public Wi-Fi. This is never secure from scammers. If you purchase something using public Wi-Fi you’re basically asking someone to come along and steal your information. If you want to buy something online you need to be using your own private Wi-Fi and your own computer. This is a simple step but it goes a long way towards protecting your information.
- Never Give Someone Your Social Security Number
There is absolutely no reason for someone to need your social security number for you to purchase something from them. Always be wary if websites ask too many questions and just move on without spending a penny.
- Use Strong Passwords
You should never use a password that’s as simple as your birthday or social security number. It makes it far too easy for a hacker to get your private information. With that they could feasibly ruin your whole life. If you’re not good at coming up with strong passwords you can always use a password generator.
Also avoid writing down your passwords. Someone else can get access to that paper and find out what they need. Try to remember your passwords if you can and change them every few months. Doing this makes it harder for people to find out our private information.
Remember that your information is just that; yours. You need to stay safe when you shop online because there is almost always someone out there lurking. Keep an eye out for the clues that you’re about to be scammed. These clues might be hidden so you have to be able to recognise them. If you do spot something that makes you cautious then trust your instincts.
If you’re getting a bad feeling from a website then just close it. It’s the simplest thing you can do to keep you and your information safe.