Danger comes when we least expect it. We need to be vigilant in order to avoid this!
There is no denying the fact that the internet is a highly advanced avenue that presents tons of advantages and forms of convenience to users all over the world.
For instance, people can order or purchase products with a single click or a simple swipe on their smartphones.
Advantages and conveniences aside, the internet is also one of the places where people with hostile intent flock to earn easy money using illegal methods.
Individuals who try to extort personal information and money from unsuspecting users, as well as those who inflict harm and threat to other users using illegal methods online are called cybercriminals.
As opposed to real-world criminals, cybercriminals can execute their malicious operations behind the safety and anonymity of their keyboards and computer screens.
While unsuspecting individuals are well-aware of these kinds of fraudulent activities, it is still not impossible for them to fall into the traps made by cybercriminals.
Metaphorically, they are like predators that silently wait for their prey to come closer before they execute their harmful means.
Fortunately, there are safety steps that can be taken in order to safeguard credit card information and other related personal information against the fraudulent means of cyberthieves.
Below is a list of the best ways on how to use credit card safely.
1. Only Use Credit Card On Trusted Websites
Scammers always keep pace with the changing environment of the internet. They can devise strategies from time to time to capture an unsuspecting individual’s card information in a matter of seconds and start using it fraudulently.
Cyberthieves are well aware that people are highly into online shopping these days, and that is why online marketplaces have become a common venue where fraudulent activities and scams are executed.
Here’s how it works: Scammers will send an email to an unsuspecting customer. Unbeknownst to the customer, this email’s fraudulent intent is cloaked using the name of the original website.
It will then prompt the customer to click on the link provided within the email. Upon clicking, the customer will then be redirected to a fake website.
This website is created to replicate the very structure and layout of an authentic website. The website will then ask for the customer’s personal information along with their card information.
The unsuspecting customer will not be able to detect that their card information is being captured.
What to do?
When shopping online using a credit card, it is important to only make purchases from trusted and well-known websites. Refrain from clicking links from an email sent by an unknown sender.
Be wary of the content of the email. If it only contains a link and nothing else, DO NOT click it! Otherwise, people who receive this type of email can try to input the URL attached in the email themselves and visit the website directly.
2. Set Up A Strong Password
Setting up a strong password is one of the best ways to nullify the harmful methods used by cybercriminals. Unfortunately, some individuals often overlook the importance of a strong password and instead opt to use passwords that are, albeit easy to remember, also highly likely to be decoded or hacked.
Due to this reason, scammers can easily breach their accounts and use their money to buy things and use them for fraudulent means.
What to do?
Instead of using pure letters, they can likewise use other suitable keyboard elements to add another layer of complexity to their password.
Avoid using birth dates, addresses and any other personal information as a password. Just keep in mind that the password should be complex but still easy to remember.
If possible end-users should take note of the emails, usernames and passwords used for each website they registered in. This is also to prevent them from forgetting their passwords and constantly asking the website to have it reset.
In addition to this, some websites enable other security features such as fingerprint, retinal and vein scanner. The said features are designed to fortify the security of end-users and prevent cybercriminals from breaching easily into their accounts.
3. Never Shop In Public
It is well understood that some online marketplaces and applications offer time-limited deals every once in a while. This is the best way for them to entice more people to stop by at their virtual storefronts. This strategic approach from online marketplaces entices their buyers to shop.
Despite its effectivity, limited offers also come with security risks. For instance, if an unsuspecting shopper opens their account in public places such as in internet cafes, there is a high chance that their accounts can be hacked or opened by the person next to them.
Even if a user always maintains the security of their account by logging out every time they open their account in public, it is still possible for hackers to install keylogger information to record keystrokes.
This will then provide the hackers their victim’s username, password, and credit card information.
That being said, using one’s personal laptop or phone still does not guarantee 100% security. Hackers come with different methods to snag their target’s personal information.
An example is the use of public wifi to hack into the mobile devices and laptops of unsuspecting users connected to it.
What to do?
Use a private wifi connection to access accounts. If users are really eager to make it before their desired limited-time sale reaches its deadline, then they can consider getting a VPN to ensure that they are browsing the internet securely even if they are accessing their account in an internet cafe.
4. Keep Anti-virus Software Updated
Using an old version of an antivirus for one’s computer is a big NO-NO. It will only leave one’s account more vulnerable to security breaches.
Failing to update the antivirus installed in one’s computer will allow hackers to send malware that could possibly corrupt the data stored in their PC.
What to do?
Always keep antivirus software updated as it strengthens protection against the different online threats lurking online.
One does not need to be a guru in technology to have an updated antivirus software. Computers now are programmed to automatically keep track of updates whenever a new patch for an antivirus is available.
It is also advisable to seek professional advice from software providers if users need further assistance with fortifying the security of their computer.
5. It’s A Matter Of Instincts
Lastly, users need to be vigilant at all times and trust their guts.
If a website or link appears shady or suspicious, don’t click or use it. Again, there are a lot of trusted online marketplaces out there to choose from such as Amazon and eBay.
Likewise, users can spot a scam by carefully analyzing the content of the website. Scams usually come when they least expect it and the premises it offers are often too good to be true.
Using a credit card for online purchases can be efficient. However, with the prevalence of cyber criminals thronging in the digital landscape. It is best to take note of ways on how to prevent this from occurring.
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