When is it safe to use credit card online

By | Thursday, March 11, 2021

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  • Is it safe to use your credit card for online purchases
  • How to safely use a credit card to pay for online purchases
  • How to stay safe when shopping online
  • Knowing these simple tips can give you peace of mind.
  • Is it safe to use your credit card for online purchases

    To steer clear of phishing attempts, avoid clicking on links to sites in emails. Be careful when saving your credit card information -- Many sites will give you the option of saving your credit card information for future use.

    That means setting up a strong password, and if you save that password on your computer, then your computer needs to be password-protected. After all, anyone who accesses your account could use your credit card once they got in, at least for purchases with that site. With Bank of America cards , Capital One cards , and Citi cards , you can protect yourself even more while shopping online by using a virtual credit card number.

    This virtual number is for one use, so you pay with it for an online transaction without entering your real card number. Now imagine that you had used your debit card. When you consider the consumer protections credit cards have, they are the best choice for online shopping. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. Lyle is a writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market.

    Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.

    By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Advertiser Disclosure We do receive compensation from some partners whose offers appear on this page.

    We have not reviewed all available products or offers. Compensation may impact the order in which offers appear on page, but our editorial opinions and ratings are not influenced by compensation. Search Icon Click here to search Search For. Credit Cards Top Picks.

    Looking for a new credit card? Banking Top Picks. Looking for a place to park your cash? Brokerages Top Picks. Just getting started? Loans Top Picks. Thinking about taking out a loan? Mortgages Top Picks. Knowledge Knowledge Section.

    Recent Articles. The Ascent Knowledge Credit Cards. Image source: Getty Images. Is it safe to shop online with a credit card? Is it safe to use tap versus putting the card in and having to type in my pin? Very different. Do you use your credit card online to make a payment? My recommendation is, I avoid it at all cost if I can.

    I have a video on that if you want to go and look at my recommendations on VPN providers that you should use for virtual private networks. It says https and it says secure, to make sure that the information between my web browser and the web server at the other end is encrypted, and if I have a choice, I am not putting in my credit card number into that form. What am I doing?

    If by chance you did a recurring payment on PayPal, you can go into your settings of your PayPal account, review all of the recurring payment merchants that have access to your account, and you can disable them. I do that very frequently. Probably once every month or two. I review everything on there, and I disable anything that is set for authorized access to my account, because, I want to make sure that I know and have control when I give out money from my account and make online payments.

    The black market for credit card numbers is quite prevalent, and you want to make sure that you have enabled credit card alerts on your credit card as well, so that any time a charge goes through from your credit card that you get notified right away by email or text notification.

    When is it safe to use credit card online

    Enter safe name, address, contact online numbers and email address. Email Icon When this website with email. Use, credit card companies credit banks are offering customers options to shop more securely online. Compare credit cards. Best Credit Cards for After all, anyone who accesses your account could use your credit card once they got in, at least for purchases with that site.

    How to safely use a credit card to pay for online purchases

    That means setting up a strong password, and if you save that password on your computer, then your computer needs to be password-protected. After all, anyone who accesses your account could use your credit card once they got in, at least for purchases with that site.

    With Bank of America cards , Capital One cards , and Citi cards , you can protect yourself even more while shopping online by using a virtual credit card number.

    This virtual number is for one use, so you pay with it for an online transaction without entering your real card number. Now imagine that you had used your debit card. When you consider the consumer protections credit cards have, they are the best choice for online shopping. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. Lyle is a writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market.

    Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you.

    You can unsubscribe at any time. Advertiser Disclosure We do receive compensation from some partners whose offers appear on this page. We have not reviewed all available products or offers. Compensation may impact the order in which offers appear on page, but our editorial opinions and ratings are not influenced by compensation. Search Icon Click here to search Search For. Credit Cards Top Picks. Looking for a new credit card?

    Banking Top Picks. Looking for a place to park your cash? Brokerages Top Picks. You might also consider subscribing to a virtual private network, or VPN, which can encrypt your data.

    It adds a layer of security to both private and public networks. If you receive an email with a link to a website, avoid shopping directly through that link — even if it is a big, well-known company. Instead, navigate to the site through your web browser. This could protect your device from a possible phishing attack, in which fraudsters use official-looking email addresses and logos to try to trick you into handing over your information. Instead, they serve up a one-time virtual account number for each purchase, a process called " tokenization.

    Not all websites accept mobile wallet payments, but your credit card might offer "virtual account numbers" that work the same way. Capital One and Citi, for example, offer this option on some of their credit cards. Nerdy tip: You never need to give out your Social Security number to make a simple purchase. If a website seems to be asking for more information than is normal or necessary, consider it a red flag.

    Credit card mobile apps often have a broad range of security features that you can set up to prevent fraud on your account, including:. Two-factor authentication : If someone does get their hands on your credit card account's login details, setting up two-factor authentication can block them from accessing more information. As a general safety practice, avoid using the same login and password on different apps and websites.

    Especially avoid repeating your credit card account's login details on other merchants' apps or websites. Make sure your computer is protected from hackers that could send your internet browser to a fake website by loading the most recent anti-virus and anti-spyware software onto your computer.

    Use only reputable anti-virus software, not anything you see in a pop-up advertisement or get as a link in an email. If you're using your credit card online at a store you're not familiar with, check the Better Business Bureau or other consumer reports before entering your credit card information.

    Avoid using your credit card at any website that has a poor customer service record with the Better Business Bureau. Credit cards offer more protection against fraudulent charges than debit cards. Not only that, if your debit card is compromised, you could lose access to all the money in your checking account until the bank sorts out the fraud. It could take days to get your funds back. Meanwhile, your bills are coming due and you could face late penalties from the companies you owe.

    Fraudulent credit card charges don't take anything from your pocket and are easier to resolve with your card issuer. Only enter your credit card information on secure websites that will protect your information. You can check a website's security by checking the URL. There should be a lock next to the URL indicating you're on a secure website. When you use your credit card online, always print or screenshot a copy of your receipt or confirmation to track your spending details.

    Then, compare the amount on your receipt to the amount on your billing statement to make sure the totals match.

    How to stay safe when shopping online

    When is it safe to use credit card online

    When you shop with your credit card online , it's important that you only go to websites you trust. Avoid clicking on email links, particularly in unsolicited emails, because these links could take you to a phony website created for the sole purpose of stealing consumer's credit card information. You can be sure you're at the correct website by typing the URL in your internet browser.

    Public computers and networks are less secure than your personal compute rand home wifi. There's a greater chance that your credit card information can be stolen when you enter your payment details on a public computer. These computers could have spyware software installed to capture all your keystrokes, including your login information and credit card number. You're not safe just because you're using your own computer on a public wifi. Hackers have access to the same wifi signal and can intercept information while it's being transmitted.

    That means no online ordering while you're using the wifi at your local coffee shop. Make sure your computer is protected from hackers that could send your internet browser to a fake website by loading the most recent anti-virus and anti-spyware software onto your computer. Use only reputable anti-virus software, not anything you see in a pop-up advertisement or get as a link in an email. If you're using your credit card online at a store you're not familiar with, check the Better Business Bureau or other consumer reports before entering your credit card information.

    Avoid using your credit card at any website that has a poor customer service record with the Better Business Bureau. Credit cards offer more protection against fraudulent charges than debit cards.

    Not only that, if your debit card is compromised, you could lose access to all the money in your checking account until the bank sorts out the fraud. It could take days to get your funds back. Meanwhile, your bills are coming due and you could face late penalties from the companies you owe.

    Fraudulent credit card charges don't take anything from your pocket and are easier to resolve with your card issuer. Only enter your credit card information on secure websites that will protect your information. You can check a website's security by checking the URL. There should be a lock next to the URL indicating you're on a secure website. My recommendation is, I avoid it at all cost if I can. I have a video on that if you want to go and look at my recommendations on VPN providers that you should use for virtual private networks.

    It says https and it says secure, to make sure that the information between my web browser and the web server at the other end is encrypted, and if I have a choice, I am not putting in my credit card number into that form. What am I doing? If by chance you did a recurring payment on PayPal, you can go into your settings of your PayPal account, review all of the recurring payment merchants that have access to your account, and you can disable them.

    I do that very frequently. Probably once every month or two. I review everything on there, and I disable anything that is set for authorized access to my account, because, I want to make sure that I know and have control when I give out money from my account and make online payments. The black market for credit card numbers is quite prevalent, and you want to make sure that you have enabled credit card alerts on your credit card as well, so that any time a charge goes through from your credit card that you get notified right away by email or text notification.

    Most credit cards allow this ability. I have enabled it on all my credit cards, and it tells me immediately. I could be sitting at a cashier right, and using my credit card and immediately I get an alert.

    Knowing these simple tips can give you peace of mind.

    No account yet? Create an account. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article methods. Related Articles. Method 1 of Look for signs the website is secure. Technology makes it easy for you to make purchases with your credit card online.

    Without proper security protocols, however, sensitive information like your credit card number can be swiped by cyber crooks. Most websites that take payments will have extra layers of security to block these thieves from getting your data. Computers used in places like libraries and internet cafes can mean easy access to those on the go or without a computer at home. Avoid making transactions while connected to a public network.

    Turn down offers to save your card information. When you create an account to pay a bill or shop online, you may be asked if you want to save your credit card information to make future transactions easier and faster.

    While this is certainly convenient, keeping your information stored online heightens the risk that it will be stolen if the website ever has a security breach. The minor convenience of having to re-enter your credit card number each time will be well-worth your peace of mind. Ask your bank or card supplier about protection services. Increasingly, credit card companies and banks are offering customers options to shop more securely online. To use your credit card online as safely as possible, you may want to take advantage of these options, some of which may have extra fees.

    One-time-use credit card numbers. A new card number is randomly generated for you each time you make a purchase, making it impossible for thieves to steal a number and use it again. These go one step further, offering the ability to protect other sensitive data, such as by using a fake name and an alternate address. Shop with PayPal or similar services. Many merchants make it possible to pay for goods and services online without actually entering your credit card information on their site.

    Instead, you create a third party account through another service, and can then use this account to make payments at a variety of sites. Be on alert for phishing attempts. If you use a credit card online, you should be on the lookout for malicious emails, or phishing scams , designed by criminals to make it appear as though they come from your bank or credit card issuer. In reality, however, they are attempts to steal your information. If you are ever in doubt about the authenticity of an email that appears to be from your card issuer, give them a call to verify.

    In general, however, know that card issuers will never ask you to do certain things via email, such as: Reply to an email with your credit card number Enter your credit card number in a form embedded in the email Click a link to get to your account always go directly to the account website by typing in the web address. Method 2 of Check your bank statements and credit report regularly.

    Not only will this keep your credit report clear, it will also reveal if you have been a victim of fraud such as a stolen card number. Report any cases of fraud. Call your bank or credit card issuer right away, and let them know what is going on. They will walk you through the next steps to report and deal with the fraud, which usually involves erasing any fraudulent charges, changing your credit card number, and monitoring your credit report for any future issues.

    Cyber criminals are clever, and online security is a constantly developing field. Take action to monitor and protect your finances. If your bank or credit card issuer does not already offer credit monitoring services after a case of fraud, make sure to do this yourself. Let the three major credit reporting agencies--Transunion, Experian, and Equifax--know that there has been a problem with your account. Method 3 of Use the right kind of card. When paying bills or shopping online, you will typically have the option to use several different kinds of cards: credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cash cards or gift cards, etc.

    While it is up to you to use the card that makes the most sense, keep in mind that credit cards typically offer more protection against liability for fraudulent charges. If possible, use a credit card for online purchase to ensure you are covered. Enter your card information online. When you make a transaction using your credit card online, be prepared to enter the necessary information, which includes the credit card number, expiration date, and security code, as well as your name, billing address, and email address.

    Know exactly what you are paying for. Look for the shopping icon, often in the top right-hand corner of the web page. Enter your details. Enter your name, address, contact telephone numbers and email address. Some businesses ask you to create an account when you complete a purchase. You can often do this automatically when you make your first purchase by entering a username and password. You will be prompted to choose how you want to pay. Other options could include debit card, PayPal and bank transfers.

    You may also be required to select whether you have a Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card. Provide your credit card details. Enter the name on the front of the card, the digit card number, the expiration and the three-digit security code found on the back. Confirm the payment.

    Extra security measures. Keep a copy of the payment confirmation. Most online stores will email you a receipt you can save and print. These details will help you track your order and ensure the correct amount is charged to your card. Why is a credit card safe for online shopping? Note that an online merchant must have registered with the program for the service to work. Zero liability guarantees American Express, Mastercard and Visa provide zero liability guarantees to cover you for fraudulent credit card use in-store, over the phone and online.

    Is Paypal safer than credit card online? Compare even more credit cards Compare credit cards. Can you use a debit card as a credit card for online purchases? However, credit cards offer a more secure way to make online purchases. What are your options for disputing charges on a card? You can call your bank to start the dispute process. Make sure to gather all of the information you need about the disputed charge before calling.

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    What am I doing? If by chance you did a recurring payment on PayPal, you can go into your settings of your PayPal account, review all of the recurring payment merchants that have access to your account, and you can disable them. I do that very frequently. Probably once every month or two. I review everything on there, and I disable anything that is set for authorized access to my account, because, I want to make sure that I know and have control when I give out money from my account and make online payments.

    The black market for credit card numbers is quite prevalent, and you want to make sure that you have enabled credit card alerts on your credit card as well, so that any time a charge goes through from your credit card that you get notified right away by email or text notification. Most credit cards allow this ability. I have enabled it on all my credit cards, and it tells me immediately.

    Two-factor authentication : If someone does get their hands on your credit card account's login details, setting up two-factor authentication can block them from accessing more information. As a general safety practice, avoid using the same login and password on different apps and websites. Especially avoid repeating your credit card account's login details on other merchants' apps or websites. Or you can simply set up alerts for transactions of any kind.

    This can help you spot unauthorized transactions and dispute them quickly. Keeping your credit card details safe requires effort and maintenance, including:.

    Updating apps, browsers, firewalls and anti-virus software automatically or manually on devices. Keeping contact information up to date on issuers' apps and websites so that you may be reached about possible fraudulent activities.

    Setting aside time to review credit card statements for unauthorized transactions and disputing fraudulent charges. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.

    This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money. Following some important guidelines each time you use your card online will help protect your credit card information. When you shop with your credit card online , it's important that you only go to websites you trust.

    Avoid clicking on email links, particularly in unsolicited emails, because these links could take you to a phony website created for the sole purpose of stealing consumer's credit card information. You can be sure you're at the correct website by typing the URL in your internet browser. Public computers and networks are less secure than your personal compute rand home wifi.

    There's a greater chance that your credit card information can be stolen when you enter your payment details on a public computer. These computers could have spyware software installed to capture all your keystrokes, including your login information and credit card number. You're not safe just because you're using your own computer on a public wifi.

    Hackers have access to the same wifi signal and can intercept information while it's being transmitted. That means no online ordering while you're using the wifi at your local coffee shop. Make sure your computer is protected from hackers that could send your internet browser to a fake website by loading the most recent anti-virus and anti-spyware software onto your computer.

    Use only reputable anti-virus software, not anything you see in a pop-up advertisement or get as a link in an email. If you're using your credit card online at a store you're not familiar with, check the Better Business Bureau or other consumer reports before entering your credit card information.

    Avoid using your credit card at any website that has a poor customer service record with the Better Business Bureau.

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