Ten Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud
During the Holiday Season in particular online fraudsters are on the lookout for unsuspecting victims. Because of this, it is important to be overly-skeptical of any web page that asks you for your personal information; even if it’s a page you have visited in the past.
Just last night, I was sent to a phishing page that looked nearly identical to my intended online destination. It turns out I had flipped two letters in the URL and it took me to a risky site. Had a friend of mine not been there to point out the subtle differences, there is a chance that my personal information could have been compromised.
There are simple ways to ensure that you are staying safe online, most importantly use common sense. If you have an inkling of uncertainty, go with it and run as many checks as you can. The FBI has released a list of things to consider while shopping online, and during the holiday season we at WatchGuard find these particularly important to follow.
Ten Ways to Avoid Online Credit Card Fraud:
1. Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.
2. Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure. One thing to look for is the VeriSign Seal; The VeriSign Trust Seal shows site visitors that VeriSign has confirmed your identity and the site has passed the VeriSign malware scan, so you can safely proceed.
3. Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
4. Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses.
5. Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account. Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
6. Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
7. Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.
8. If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
9. Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.
10. Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.
If you are sure to keep these in mind during the, the likelihood of a cyber-attack falls dramatically. WatchGuard wishes you a safe and memorable Holiday Season!