Just yesterday I received an email with a special limited time offer from an online store. I'm a frequent shopper from this particular site and felt comfortable with the offer. But, it made me think about how many questionable offers are out there and the increased importance of avoiding online credit card fraud. I decided to write this brief article with some quick tips for safer online shopping with your credit card. If you're going to be shopping online, it's important to remember these important tips:
- Never click on Internet links within emails. As with the offer I received, even though I knew the company making the offer, I took the safe route and typed the URL into my browser rather than shortcutting through the email.
- When making an online purchase, be sure that the site has security features (SSL) to protect your account information. Reputable internet merchant sites protect your private data from being read by others when you shop by using advanced encryption technologies. If the site doesn't mention that the credit card transaction is secure, take time to verify that they have it before you make your purchase.
- It's best to refrain from any online shopping or accessing bank accounts from a public computer such as at a library or school. However, if you must use a public computer, remember to log off and quit the browser when you are finished. Depending on how the history is configured, there is potential that anyone who comes after you could access your information.
- Make certain to get a printed receipt of any and all online transactions as well as any warranties or other purchase information.
- And finally, if you're going to use your credit card for online purchases, make a habit of carefully reviewing your credit card statements and get a copy of your credit report or sign up for a credit monitoring service so that you can catch any fraudulent activity early on.