Secure Credit Card Shopping Online

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Most of us have heard about some events when credit card data was compromised, and sometimes those events were large-scale. For example, last year retail giant Target was itself a target for credit card thieves who stole 40 million credit card numbers, cardholder names, addresses, and other relevant data. In January this year, Neumann Marcus was another victim of credit card thieves who this time stole close to 70 million credit card numbers and relevant info. And these are just a couple of recent high profile accidents, whereas smaller-scale leaks of precious financial information happen all the time, and all the more frequently.

Maybe you have also been a victim of such a misfortunate event a couple of times – like many, many people who use a credit card on a regular basis have been. And this probably wasn’t your fault. If you’ve shopped online a few times here and there, chances are not so low that one time another online store’s database will be hacked and all of the cardholder information will pass to the hands of a hacker thief. But the good news is that it’s actually quite easy to make such chances very miniscule.

cc thief 2Here’s what you can do to keep your credit card shopping thief-free. One “secret” is to use virtual credit (or debit) cards. There are services that will instantly issue you a reloadable virtual credit card at a small fee. I could name a few, but you can easily do a search by yourself and find a dozen of services in a matter of seconds. Another alternative is to buy one-time or reloadable credit cards or gift cards at your local supermarket or convenience shop. Also there are banks that issue virtual and reloadable debit cards with minimal fees, so you might want to check with your financial institution if it offers this service.

Another tactic for safe online shopping with a credit card is to use a payment system that works with credit cards. In this case, only the payment system has to keep your credit card information on file, and the merchants you’re paying to wouldn’t know it. But these merchants have to accept that payment system in order for this tactic to work.

Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to safe credit card handling is to store credit card information properly. Some people keep their credit card information written in a plain text file stored on a hard or thumb drive in almost open access. There is software that is made to keep financial and other information in safety by encrypting and protecting it by password. One such program is 1Password, and another popular one is RoboForm. I’ve heard of some other secure wallet applications, so there’s some room for choice.

Last, but not least – don’t forget to carefully check that monthly statement.