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Credit card safety and online shopping tips

Updated 13 Nov 2019 – By Loanstreet

Many people have been the victims of credit card fraud and new hacking techniques. No matter how many times banks prove to you that they have come up with new security measures and safety features, when it comes to swiping our credit card or doing online shopping, deep inside we’re still afraid if we somehow lose money or our sensitive information.

So the question is, are we safe with our credit card payments? Take a look at the image below, this is one of the online markets that we found where people can easily buy stolen credit card info, for as low as USD4.

Next time, be careful how you use your credit card of your favourite bank, if you don't want your info to be listed for sale! For safety reason we hid the cards' info, sorry if we couldn't show you the full details!

Credit card safety and online shopping tips

How to protect yourself from credit card fraud?

At the end of this article you will learn how to minimize the risk of any possible credit card fraud, but we can't guarantee you will be fully protected. The fact is, when you lose your sensitive info and money to hackers, it's either your mistake for not securing your credit card info or the shops' fault for not keeping your data safe when you made a purchase. In some rare cases, banks can also have data breaches.

Of course you don't have control over how much companies and banks are keeping your info secure, but at least you can follow certain rules from your side to protect your credit card.  

Beware of skimming terminals

Next time when you are about to swipe your credit card, make sure that the device looks normal. Skimmers in most cases are bigger and longer than real terminals, so this is one way you can identify fraudulent devices. This guide is issued by Ingenico, a credit card terminal manufacturer, on how to identify skimmers.    

Credit card safety and online shopping tips

© mybroadband  - © ingenico    

You should also watch out for ATM skimmers. Although this happens in rare cases, to be safe, we suggest you to cash out from ATM's that are in safe places or inside the banks. Watch this short video and see how scammers have taken it to the next level.  

Shocking, right?

Now let's learn more about online scammers and see how we can protect our credit card when making online payments.

Do not pay in public

Buying online with your phone while you are connected to public WiFi is a mistake. It's a big no. Wireless connections are vulnerable, also if the router is not secure, your information could be easily hacked. In this case, usually the hacker is around you and connecting to the same WiFi, waiting comfortably for your information to land in his/her laptop.  

Double check the URLs

URLs can be tricky, a fake website can be exactly the same as the trusted one and their URLs could be 99% the same. So you could fall into the trap of inserting your credit card info to the wrong website. To be safe, in most cases try to enter your trusted website either by typing in the website's domain name in the URL bar or selecting from the Google search result.

Do not use the referral links provided from other websites or from emails, there is a slight chance that these links take you to the wrong destination.

It's not always about online payments, even when you want to login to your bank account, you had better use the URL bar and also make sure that the site is showing you the secure path “https” at the beginning of the website name, including the lock icon.

Credit card safety and online shopping tips

Go incognito

It happens to all of us that sometimes we need to use internet from devices that are not ours. It could be your friend's, your colleague's or maybe the PC at a guesthouse or even an internet café. If you want to check your email or enter any website, it is best to go incognito first.

Luckily most of the devices have the Chrome browser, so what you can simply do is to press and hold “Ctrl (Command key for Mac users) and Shift” and then click “N” on your keyboard. A new browser will open, then you can surf the web safer and if you close the browser, your info will not be kept in the memory of the browser.

But still our advice is to try your best not to make any transactions or logging into your account from other people's devices.

Credit card safety and online shopping tips

 Here are some more quick tips!

  • Online payment does not need your card's PIN or your date of birth, you only need to insert your card number, your name, address, card's expiration date, and CVV.
  • Do not trust any email that is asking for your credit card number or your sensitive info by clicking the link.
  • When paying with your credit card at some restaurant or shop, it is safer if they process the payment in your presence. Do not let them take away your card unless you trust them. These days everyone can get a credit card reader as cheap as RM15.

We agree with the fact that banks are developing more sophisticated technology and algorithms to prevent credit card fraud. The truth is, "if humans made it, then humans can break it". Unless the technology and security measures come from aliens, there is always a way for hackers to empty your credit card, it’s just matter of time.

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