Tips to keep you safe while shopping online
Shopping online can be fun and rewarding, but there are a few basic things you should know before you begin.
Shop at trusted online retailers
You wouldn't shop at a brick-and-mortar store you didn't trust, so make sure you're as vigilant about your online retail choices. Buy from trusted sources, and if you're not sure do your research. Perform a background check, request a catalog by mail, or talk to a customer service representative for more information. You can also look for third-party seals of approval to get additional peace of mind.
Pay with your Visa debit card
Using your Visa debit card online is both safe and easy. Youíre protected in exactly the same way you are when using your card at a store, ordering from a catalog by mail, or placing an order over the phone.
Read return and shipping information
When calculating the final cost of a purchase, donít forget shipping and handling charges. If youíre doing business with a merchant located in another state or country, taxes and international costs may apply. Before you buy, check the merchant site for a description of charges that will apply to your purchase.
Look for signs of security
Protect your private information while shopping online. Look for a padlock in the status bar at the bottom of the browser window, a URL that begins "https://", or the words "Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)." These signs indicate that only you and the merchant can view your payment information.
Keep your information and records safe
Never send payment information via email. Information that travels over the Internet (like email) is not fully protected from being read by outside parties.
Just as you save store receipts after you've completed an in-store purchase, you should keep records of your Internet purchases. These records are just like the receipt you'd get in a store.
Here are some tips on keeping your data secure:
Buy over a secure computer
Use the latest version of your browser's software and check to be sure your computer's operating system software is up to date.
Protect your password
Creating a strong password is key. Donít use the obvious (such as your birthday, nickname, motherís maiden name, phone number or the name of your pet) and use six or more characters (mix letters and numbers and use upper-case and lower-case letters) if possible. Try to create a new password for each siteóand never share it with anyone.
Be careful of one-click shopping
Although itís convenient to have your information stored and easy to access, never use this feature on a public computer.
Review the privacy statement
Also, be prudent about what information you reveal for a purchaseósome things, like credit card numbers, are necessary. But if a question seems too invasiveólike your social security numberóskip it.
Never provide your credit card number as proof of your age