Safer Internet Day: How Can You Make Online Shopping Safer?

safer internet day

Today marks the 2018 edition of Safer Internet Day, a day where people around the planet come together to try and make the online world a safer place for people of all ages. This year’s theme is “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you,” and we here at DCR Strategies | TruCash couldn’t agree more. With our electronic payments and virtual cards, we help ensure that you, your business, and loved ones have a safe and secure digital experience.

 

The internet has revolutionized communication, education, entertainment, business, and a slew of other industries, including shopping. Online shopping offers nearly unlimited options to a consumer, and is far more flexible and time-saving than in-person shopping at brick and mortar stores. However, with these seemingly limitless opportunities comes risk. Hackers, phishers, and other financial criminals can make you a target, and they are getting smarter all the time. The value of online fraud is predicted to reach $25.6 billion by 2020, according to Juniper Research.

 

So how can you protect yourself?

 

Here are some tips for a safer online shopping experience:

 

Use Familiar Websites

  • Only shop on well-known or legitimate websites. If a site looks suspicious or you are unfamiliar with the company, avoid giving out your card or personal information. Sites like Amazon.com (or Best Buy, Target, etc.) and other major retailers all have their own websites and can be trusted.
  • Beware of misspellings or different domains (i.e. .net instead of.com). Be careful or clicking links on search engines, as you may occasionally click the wrong link.

 

If It’s Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

  • If a sale is being offered on an unknown website and the deal is amazing, it probably isn’t real!
  • Don’t fall for scams that offer free products with purchase or by filling out a survey. You aren’t going to get a free iPad because you’re the “Lucky Customer” on a pop-up ad.

 

The HTTPS Lock is Your Friend

  • Never shop online or give out your information to a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. How can you find this? It’s easy–just check if the URL for the site starts with HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP://. There will also be a locked padlock icon beside the URL or at the bottom of your browser.

 

Your Information Is Important

  • No online shopping store is going to ask for your social security number or your birthday. This is the kind of information that can be used to hurt you. Always give up as little information as possible.

 

Don’t Be A Phish Caught on a Hook

  • Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Phishing is one of the most common scams around. Never give anyone you card information over e-mail.

 

Check Your Statements

  • Check your card transaction history regularly. Any time you notice any unauthorized or suspicious transactions you should immediately contact your financial institution. Get instant updates on your account activity by using online banking or a mobile app.

 

So now you know how to protect yourself. But the question still remains, what is the BEST way to shop online? The answer is with a TruCash card.

 

Privacy Benefits of Online Shopping With A TruCash Card

Online bank/credit card fraud and identity theft weighs heavy on the minds of many customers, causing some people to avoid online shopping altogether. Credit card fraud accounts for 71 percent of all fraud losses in the United States. On the other hand, open-loop card and electronic payments card fraud only counted for 4 percent of all financial fraud. According to the “How Canadians Pay Today” survey from the CPPO, 65 percent of consumers are concerned about the security of their credit and debit cards when making online purchases, however only 28 percent of people had similar concerns about open-loop cards. With no credit or bank account information at risk, zero-liability protection, enhanced security, instant reporting, and real-time monitoring, plus less personal data available, using a TruCash card is safer than using a debit or credit card and decreases the chances of fraud, theft, and loss. For more detailed information, check out How Can You Protect Your Important Data?

 

Virtual Payment Cards: A Smarter Way To Shop Online

Virtual cards offer exclusive security features not found on typical cards.

 

  • Virtual prepaid cards cannot be stolen or lost because they are not physical cards. The information is stored online with access via a launch window
  • Cards are not connected to a bank account, eliminating the chances of private information theft
  • Virtual cards can be edited or deleted after the card has been used
  • Companies can create multiple cards for different purposes and merchants

 

If you think you may be vulnerable to identity theft or online fraud, or you simply want more information in order to protect yourself, check out the links below.

 

RCMP.gc.ca – Royal Canadian Mounted Police site for Identity Theft and Identity Fraud. Click here for assistance if you are already a victim.

OnGuardOnline.gov – Tips from U.S. federal government to help you protect your personal information.

FTC.gov – Tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help you avoid identity theft and learn what to do if your identity is stolen.

FDIC.gov – Information from the FDIC about how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.

Protect your privacy and contact us today to find out how you can get a customized TruCash card.

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