While online shopping means no lines and no crowds, it also means you must be extra careful to avoid potential identity theft and security breaches.
With the holiday season (and online purchasing season) just around the corner, it is crucial to follow these precautions to ensure that your credit card stays safe:
Should the unfortunate event of a security breach occur, the effects are far more damaging when using a debit card rather than a credit card. The entire contents of the account linked to the debit card will likely be drained, and legal protection is not as generous with debit as with a credit card.
Depending on your browser settings, your computer or the website you are visiting may be storing credit card information without your knowledge. To disable this feature, delve into the privacy settings on your browser and make sure to select the option that states the computer will not tell websites about your tracking preferences. Furthermore, if a website offers the option of remembering your card information, do not choose to do so.
To make sure a website is secure, look for URLs that begin with “https://” rather than just “http://” as well ones that contain a lock symbol. Also avoid purchasing through links sent via email, as they may be fraudulent, or sending credit card information via email.
Any time you are accessing the web while on public WiFi, especially community WiFi areas (attention coffee shop goers), security is more vulnerable. Thus, purchasing via cellphone further exposes your card to vulnerabilities and is not recommended.
The most important piece of advice to remember when purchasing online is to always be on the lookout for suspicious activity on your bank statements and contact your bank immediately if there seems to be an issue. Keep updated anti-virus software on your computer as well to prevent access to possibly dangerous sites.
If you have any questions about the security of a site or are unsure about credit card safety online, please don’t hesitate to contact ICC at 877-463-0781 or 970-821-8592.
October 22, 2015