Safety Tips for Online Credit Card Use

By Posted 2005 Updated   Security

How to use Credit cards safely online? Credit cards are very useful for buying anything online. The transaction is fast and avoids hassles of cheques, mail, bounces and delayed product delivery. As these small plastic cards get more common, so rise the intentions of potential thieves to get hold of your credit cards details and misuse them.

Credit Card Safety

credit card online use

Credit card transactions are very safe on the internet. But you need to take special precautions to ensure you don’t end up paying a huge amount and legal hassles for something you did not buy. So here are a few tips –

  1. Buy only from trusted companies you know. It better if you know their offline postal address, telephone numbers and other documents to verify their existence. If a similar product is available at similar prices from various sellers, choose the most trusted and largest one. You may want to read their privacy and secuity policies.
  2. Always give out your credit card details at secure websites. See the small closed lock symbol (in Internet explorer) or an unbroken key (in Netscape navigator) at the bottom of the browser bar.
  3. During any secure passage of encrypted data, you will see the http:// of the url in the address bar turn to https:// i.e. with addition of an ‘s’, which signifies a secure protocol is being used.
  4. Look for signs of security like 128bit SSL encryption and safety / privacy confirmed by trusted service providers like Verisign or Trust.e.
  5. After the credit card transaction, usually the screen will reveal some transaction id, or order number, invoice number etc. with a message of successful money transfer by credit card. Print it and keep it safely. The seller usually sends an email after you successfully confirm the transaction. If you do not recieve it, you may ask them to send confirmation of your order.
  6. Always check your credit card transaction statements carefully to confirm that you indeed do those purchases
  7. Do not send your credit or debit card information via email or use it as proof of your identity.
  8. Never reveal your credit card details like number, CVC number, expiry date of your card to anyone in person, or over phone.
  9. Never reveal your ATM pin number as it is required to withdraw cash from ATM machines and not for online purchases.
  10. Keep a seperate low credit limit credit card for online purchases only. Gives you peace of mind.
  11. Some companies like Citibank offers Ecard, which is an online card only, no physical card at all. You can fix the credit limit depending on your needs to very low levels, so that even if it gets misused, you don’t loose much.

I hope these safety tips will ensure you shop with confidence with your credit card.


7 comments on “Safety Tips for Online Credit Card Use

  1. Darren says:

    If I understand things correctly, the lock icon shows when you are ON a https (secure) page. The mechanism used to transmit your credit card number can still be insecure. For instance a form that sends your info to a script via http in the FORM ACTION attribute. If the form is not being SUBMITTED securely, it is irrelevant that the form page itself loaded via https. I’ve even seen forms that EMAIL the credit card number via a simple CGI script. That means that even if the form action IS https once it hits that email script you may be back to sending the credit card via plain text to the email recipient. I’ve seen this poor practice used even by “professional” site designers.

  2. cj says:

    Isn’t there a chip that can be placed in newer credit cards that will help deter idenity theft.

  3. invadesoda says:

    At least one company is offering “single-use” online credit card numbers associated with a real credit card number. Sorry, I forgot which company.

    Also run antivirus and reputable antispyware programs regularly, because if your credit card number gets logged by a rogue program, it doesn’t really matter that the online transaction is secure.

    Good post.

  4. i love money says:

    revealing your ATM pin number would be the stupidest thing you could ever do regarding taking care of your money, and this case the credit card.

  5. Alejandro miguel says:

    Using PayPal is a secure way to shop online untill you get a dedicated short term e-card type credit card . This company is reputable and gives peace of mind! thanks paypal`

  6. Nate says:

    I always change my pin number once a year just to be safe. I have had one too many friends that have gotten their card used for transactions they did not approve of.

  7. teoh says:

    I recently on-line booking a hotel
    the hotel reply via email to me to confirm the reservation.
    In the email, stated all my details eg name,handphone# , card number , expiry date ,
    & most importantly the CVC number also revealed.
    I had to call the bank to block my card , & pay to reissue a new card , & have to notify all the merchannts for my auto-pay.
    I had lodged a complaints to this careless hotel but no response.
    Can i know , is there any written rule that the merchant shall not disclose this confidential of the clients?

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