Two of the greatest time saving inventions ever are the internet and credit cards. When you combine the two to handle routine chores like banking, shopping, and paying bills while sitting in a coffee shop or on the tube, the convenience is even greater.
Unfortunately both have their drawbacks. The internet is fraught with myths and scams ranging from people asking for help claiming million pound inheritances, to “facts” that are anything but, and sophisticated phishing schemes designed to steal passwords and personal information. A credit or debit card is far more convenient than carrying a bunch of notes, but at the same time present tempting targets for the less scrupulous among us.
The internet is also filled with myths about the safety and security of using your credit or debit card online. If one believes the pop-up ads, and the “factual” anecdotes posted on news and social media sites, using your card online is basically the same as sharing your account information with the world.
While it is true that credit card fraud does happen, using your card online is not inherently unsafe. Reputable sites, like TransferGo, employ multiple layers of security to protect the financial information of our customers who transfer money via our website or our convenient mobile app.
Keeping your financial information safe and secure when shopping or banking online is easy, especially if you follow some simple, basic procedures.
- Make sure sites are secure – When you visit a secure site, which means one that uses strong encryption techniques and which is confirmed to be legitimate by third parties you will see an icon of a padlock along with “HTTPS” before the URL. Avoid any site that asks for personal or financial information.
- Look for sudden changes in your banking page – If you go to your bank’s home page and notice that it has suddenly changed, spend a couple of minutes checking the site to make sure you are on a legitimate site. If you are not convinced, call the bank and ask if there has been a change.
- Install security software – Most data thefts come about as a result of viruses or Trojan programs that have been placed on your computer. Many banks offer free security software, such as Trustee Rapport. Also make sure you have up-to-date virus software. Most experts say that free virus software like AVG and Avast are as good as their expensive commercial equivalents. Include malware and security apps on your mobile devices as well.
- Protect your devices – Make sure that you have a firewall installed on your computer and that your home wireless network is password protected.A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
- Be aware of phishing scams – One of the more common ways that criminals get credit card information is simply asking for it. Banks and online merchants will never ask you for your credit card or password information by email. If you receive an email that starts “Dear Valued Customer” it’s a scam. Also check the sender’s address for any email that asks for personal information; if it looks suspicious do not reply. If you are concerned that it may be legit, simply call the bank or merchant and talk with a human.
- Don’t download email attachments – Banks do not typically send forms or account information via email attachments. The best bet is to simply delete the email. Once again call the bank if you think the form may be valid. Most banks ask that forms be downloaded from their website.
- Download apps only from official stores – Apps are great to have. The only place to get a legitimate app is from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
- Use legitimate sites – The best rule of thumb is that a site that offers deals that are too good to be true is probably suspect. Do a Google search or your virus software’s safety check feature before using any site that seems the least bit dodgy.