With the upcoming flurry of holiday shopping coming up, shopping online becomes even more popular. Like many people, I love shopping online for its convenience. However, just as you would never leave your credit card at the counter of your favorite store, there are some steps you should take to protect your identity while shopping.
First, you should stick to shopping online at secure, and widely-recognized, web shops.
Odds are that you’re going to be okay shopping at these types of websites because their companies have more than enough money to invest in the latest types of internet security. In addition, no big store wants the reputation of having been careless with their customers’ information.
So, what if you can only find the item you’re looking for on a smaller, unknown website. Well, you can start by looking for signs that the website is secure. Does the site feature a security seal? You’ve seen them: they’re the little shields at the bottom of many websites. Or check out the site’s security policy; you can usually find it in the customer service section of the website. Simply put, you’re just looking for an indication that this retailer takes internet security seriously.
If the site you’re considering shopping at still doesn’t leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling you can always look for another way to add a layer of security to your shopping experience. Some retailers welcome payments through PayPal. Then, you can rest assured that PayPal is protecting your payment and personal information. Another easy solution is to simply call the retailer and see if you can place an order over the phone. Now your information won’t even be on the internet.
As a side note, you should never save your credit card information with your profile at a questionable web site. If you’re not sure your individual transaction information is secure, you certainly don’t want to leave your information at their site for all of time. Getting to skip inputting your information the next time you shop with this retailer may seem like a convenience, but trying to undo the damage that comes with identity theft is anything but convenient.
Finally, you should restrict all of your online purchases to one credit card. Imagine the mess you would find if you made purchases on three or four different credit cards and then found out that they were all compromised, somehow. However, if you were to fall victim to identity theft, you could simply cancel the one card. The chaos will be much more manageable.