Who doesn’t love online shopping? In today’s world, it’s never been easier to search for something you want, compare prices between retailers and get it delivered right to your door. But it’s always important to make sure you’re keeping your payment and bank information safe and secure while you shop around the internet. We’ve broken down a few things you can do to stay safe and still enjoy that online shopping experience we all love so much.
Tip #1: Use Your Credit Card
You should avoid using a debit card when shopping online. When you use your debit card, you’re giving direct access to your checking account. But when you use a credit card, you have the backing of fraud protection that comes standard on most cards. So if someone does get your card number and makes purchases, you can work with your credit card issuer to make sure you’re not liable for the charges.
Tip #2: Keep Your Passwords Strong
If you have accounts with online retailers that store your address and payment information, you’ll want to make sure those accounts are secure. The best way to do this is to make sure you have strong passwords for all your accounts. This can include using two-factor authentication when possible, using passphrases instead of passwords, and not using the same passwords for multiple online accounts. You can learn more about those best practices here.
Tip #3: Use a Secure Internet Connection
Your Wi-Fi can actually play an important role in keeping your information safe while you shop online. Your home Wi-Fi that’s password protected is going to be a lot safer for you to use than using public Wi-Fi while you’re out and about. If a secure connection isn't possible, try to use your phone’s hotspot signal or a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Tip #4: Always Go Directly to A Retailer’s Site
It’s always so tempting to click on those website ads that show you all the great deals, right? But it’s best to always go directly to a retailer’s site when possible. If you see an ad for a great deal at your favorite clothing store, just go right to their site on your own. If the deal was really from the retailer, you’ll easily be able to find the deal directly on their website.
Tip #5: Monitor Your Bank Account
The quickest way to catch a fraud charge on your credit card is to keep a close eye on your account. Many banks offer mobile apps that let you monitor your charges wherever you are. And so if there is a charge that comes up that you didn’t make, you’ll be able to take action right away. If you do see a charge on your account that wasn’t yours, make sure to contact your credit card issuer right away and visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to learn more.
Next time you’re shopping online, remember that there are little things you can do to keep your money secure and safely where it belongs. It makes all those hot deals online just that much sweeter when you know your bank account information is safe and sound.