Smart PC users keep constantly vigilant against online credit card theft. Today, the credit card remains the most stolen piece of personal information online.
Sure, your credit card company will likely cancel most of the charges placed on your stolen credit card, but you’re going to have to go through a ridiculous amount of paperwork in order to successfully cancel those charges.
Why not avoid all of the hassle in the first place? By following the four tips listed below, anyone can prevent credit card theft on their PC and instantly make their PC a little safer:
4) Use a virtual credit card or a disposable credit card
Many people buy credit cards solely to purchase things online. I know that was the reason I got my first credit card. Virtual credit card providers have addressed this demand and now offer ‘fake’ virtual credit cards. Users enter whatever personal information they want while maintaining a real, verifiable credit card number. This prevents online merchants from accessing your personal data and limits the amount of damage someone can do if your credit card is stolen.
If you want to be extra cautious, you can create a prepaid virtual card that only has a fixed amount of money. That way, if someone steals your card, they’re not able to do much damage with it.
3) Understand how the FTC protects you from losses with credit cards versus debit cards
In the United States, federal law prohibits consumers from being liable for more than $50 worth of fraudulent credit card purchases. If the consumer reports the loss of the credit card before any fraudulent transactions are made, they are not liable for any of the fraudulent purchases that are made.
Rules for debit cards are different and you must report the loss of your debit card as soon as possible. The FTC has a scaled protection system that significantly rewards people who report fraudulent credit card purchases early. Look at the table below for more information:
What does this mean for you? Use your credit card whenever possible.
2) Don’t store/save your credit card information on websites
Many shopping websites give customers the opportunity to save credit card data for future purchases. This is undoubtedly a convenient way to shop, but it’s also a significant risk – especially if the shopping website is less well-known.
Instead, tell the site not to save your credit card data and enter it manually every time. This is tedious, but if you’re serious about credit card theft and protecting your security online, then this tip is worth the price.
Unless you’re shopping at the website every few days, saving your credit card information probably isn’t worth the risk. Even major companies like Amazon and eBay have experienced serious data leaks at some point.
1) Check your monthly statement/online account
Sadly, many financial crimes go unreported for days, weeks, or even months because people don’t realize that unauthorized purchases are being made. In many cases, the credit card thief will start by making small purchases to see if the individual will detect the crime. The smaller charges are hard to spot, but before long, there may be hundreds of dollars charged to your account.
The best way to combat this type of credit card theft is to be vigilant. Check your online account regularly or, if you’re still in the Stone Age, look through the monthly statement you receive in the mail.