The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that over three million Americans have been victimized by the misuse of one or more credit card accounts. Despite this statistic, credit cards remains one of the best ways to carry out transaction because its offers fraud protection.
Federal laws prohibit vendors from holding you responsible for more than $50 of fraudulent charges made to your account. Most major credit cards issuers have a $0 fraud liability guarantee. This means you are never held responsible for unauthorized charges made on your account.
Credit card issuers also provide extra security, including various identity safety prevention , detection and resolution measures that require secure encryption, and multi-factor online authentication.
Here are four steps you can take to protect yourself and enhance the aggressive identity safety steps taken by credit card issuers.
1. Have statements delivered digitally – Reduce the volume of confidential information delivered to your mailbox and stored away in your home. You can have password-protected credit card statement online. The length of time you can access statement online depends on the company. Some companies offer six months of statement activities. Other may provide access to a few years worth of account activity.
You can also view recent transactions, which you can monitor for unauthorized transactions or other misuse.
2. Pay with virtual account numbers – You can use secure online account numbers or virtual account numbers to pay for transactions without giving out your actual account number. The service provides you a temporary , random credit card number –linked to your actual credit card, without the merchant ever having access to your account number.
3. Verify website security – Before you give your credit card number or complete an online form, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable vendor. The site should offer you secure shopping or other personal transactions—not all do.
The site should also provide you contact information in case you want to talk to a “live” person. A secured website’s address starts with “HTTPS:// “ instead of “ HTTP://”. A small “lock” icon should appear in the lower right hand corner of the screen to show that you are on a secured site.
4. Do not store credit card information – Many shopping sites and other vendors offer consumers the ability to store credit card information. They tout the convenience of making your transactions faster because they can access credit card and delivery information already on their servers.
It may be faster, but it also carries a lot of risk. You hear the story of data breaches –something out of your control. Your transactions take a little longer if you must enter the information every time you shop, bit you eliminate one more
Don’t let attractive deals and appealing sites lure you into complacency when it comes to using and safe guarding your credit card online. There is risk to shopping over the Internet. By being proactive, you can shop without worry when using your credit card online.