Internet Shopping & Payment Security

Shopping online is growing fast, but so is internet based credit card fraud.

Internet shopping and payment securityThe credit card companies are working very hard to protect you from the fraudsters, and ultimately if you follow the terms of issue of your credit card, its unlikely you’ll liable in the event of a problem.

Obviously you can compare credit cards on this site and look at the individual policies and protections that each card issuer offers, however most UK issued credit cards protect you in the event of fraudulent use of your card.

Tips for credit card security:-

  • Always keep your passwords and PIN’s secure. It can be useful sometimes to let a partner or a family member use your card to make an online purchase. Our advice is don’t, they may write down or misplace your personal information without realising how valuable that is to a fraudster.
  • Take proper steps to make sure that before you throw away personal information (bills, statements, letters) you destroy identity and financial information. If you throw away 3 or 4 different pieces of correspondence, if they’re found by a fraudster, they can often piece together enough about you to steal your identity. Identity theft is a growing problem in the UK, and you need to always be on your guard. Don’t save passwords  or PIN’s into your mobile or smart phone, you might as well carry a piece of paper with the information on.
  • Think twice before making financial transactions on a public computer or a computer that you don’t know or trust all the potential users of.  If you have to use a public computer, make sure you erase the browsing history and delete cookies when you finish using it. Its very easy for an experienced IT user to get a good idea of where you’ve been shopping, but its also possible with the right software for people to steal your passwords or PIN’s.

Some extra tips for when you’re shopping online:-

  1. Ensure your PC or Mac has the latest operating system, browser version and firewall and ensure that your anti-virus software is up to date and scanning any incoming emails. If you’re not sure what these things are, its best not to shop online until you’re comfortable you have these basic security features in place.
  2. Try and order from reputable companies who you’ve heard of, and make sure you always approach their shopping pages from their main website address (URL). This means you’re less likely to be lead astray and to maybe enter your credit card details in a fraudulent or replica website controlled by fraudsters.
  3. When you’ve finished shopping on any website always “log off” formally clicking the “log-out” or “log-off” button on the website. On some websites just closing the browser window can leave your credit card details at risk.
  4. Look out for the padlock! You may have noticed on some websites a little gold padlock on the outer edge of your browser window. This means the website you’re ordering on is secure, your personal information is encrypted and it’s a good indication that you’re dealing with a reputable company.
  5. Register and use the Verified by VISA and MasterCard SecureCode services. These extra layers of security are provided by the card issuer and processing system and make it much harder for someone to use your credit card details fraudulently.

We don’t want to alarm you into feeling nervous about shopping online. The best deals on goods and services are always going to be found on the internet, and your credit card is your key to accessing those offers.

Using your credit card to buy online (or by phone or post) is as safe as using your credit card in person. Normally, if your credit card is used fraudulently, the most you can be held liable for is £50. However, under the ‘distance selling regulations’, if anyone dishonestly uses your card to buy from anywhere in the European Union by phone, fax, internet, digital TV or mail order, you can cancel the payment and get a full refund from the credit card issuer. In theory you are not liable even for the first £50.

Don’t forget you’re covered in the same way for transactions abroad as you are at home.

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