One key concern that you are likely to have when venturing to shop online pertains to the safety of your credit card details. The fear is that the credit card details could fall into the wrong hands, ultimately leading to fraud. It is a well-founded fear: for you have to appreciate that all a person needs to make a payment using a credit card (or debit card) online is the card number, the card’s signature/CVV code and the card’s expiry date. And if a fraudster can intercept those details, while being entered in the course of online shopping, then you can quite easily find yourself being a victim of fraud. This state of affairs naturally leads us into the question on what can be done – what you can do – to protect your credit card details while shopping online.
In my experience, if you wish to protect your credit card details while shopping online, it is essential for you to ensure that you only shop at websites with the requisite security features. And you don’t have to be a geek, for you to know whether a website has the requisite security features. If a given site’s address (especially on the payments page) is preceded by HTTP, rather than HTTPS, and there is no padlock sign before the HTTP/HTTPS, then you know that it doesn’t have the requisite security features. Conversely, you should only enter your credit card details in payments pages whose addresses are preceded by HTTPS, and where the HTTPS is preceded by a padlock sign. You would then be sure that the data you’d be entering would be transferred in encrypted form, which greatly reduces the chances of it being intercepted.
I have also come to learn that it is best to make payments through systems such as Paypal or Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), whenever and wherever possible, rather than entering your credit card details in each and every website you shop at. The modest commissions you pay to the third party payments services like Paypal and Skrill will be nothing compared to the peace of mind you get in return.