In today’s online marketplace, you’ll definitely want to take some steps when it comes to protecting your privacy on the Internet. Let’s take a look at some measures you can take to keep your information safe online.
Dedicate One Credit Card for Online Purchases
One of the best things you can do is set aside a credit card for making online purchases. This ensures that if your information is ever compromised, this card alone will be the only one affected. You’ll want to make sure the limit on this card is low to avoid scammers making extravagant purchases should they steal this credit card information. Use extra vigilance when reviewing the monthly statement before paying the bill as second-level protection to ensure you authorized all the purchases.
With these precautions in place, scammers will not have access to your bank account balance if you used a debit card, nor will they be able to go on a shopping spree with a credit card where the sky’s the limit. You’ll want to make sure this card is only used for purchases online and is not carried with you either in your wallet or on your person so you are not tempted to mix online and in-person purchases. If this card is stolen in the real world, it defeats the purpose of keeping your identity safe online.
Utilize the Virtual Card Number Feature
A virtual card number is another option for yourself or your teens. Card issuers create a card number that is tied to an existing credit account, but different from the data that appears on your physical card. Some virtual card numbers are valid for a single payment, while others are valid for multiple transactions. Several major credit card companies offer this service free of charge. This adds another layer of online protection and the simplicity of fewer credit card balances to pay. According to this article on Forbes.com, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express all offer virtual card numbers. Check the availability of this service for your particular credit card issuer in your existing online customer portal.
Purchase Reloadable Cards
If a dedicated online-only credit card is not an option. An alternative is to obtain a prepaid card with a reloadable balance. These cards can be obtained almost anywhere these days, backed by trusted names, such as Visa and Mastercard. The only cash they have available is what you’ve loaded on them. That way, scammers have no access to any credit limit, but only the limit you have put on the card yourself.
This is an especially smart idea for teens who might want to make a few online purchases themselves. They will not be able to spend more than you approve, and your data is safe wherever they decide to shop. Purchase fees and reload fees often make this less than an ideal alternative, but it beats losing out on larger sums of money if your primary credit account is compromised.
Has Your Information Been Compromised?
How would you know if your information has ever been compromised? Thankfully, there’s a website that tracks your email information and whether or not you have been compromised across the Internet. This site is called Pwned. Simply enter your email address to find out whether or not it has been compromised.
This site lists every instance of a data breach involving your email address going back years. You’ll need to make note of older breaches that you might already be aware of. However, this website is invaluable to track new breaches as you’ll be able to see where you might need to take action to protect yourself including changing passwords or closing accounts you no longer utilize.
Protect Your Data
You probably won’t be able to avoid every new data breach, but you’re able to prepare yourself for one. If you’re smart with your information and keep on top of where you might have already been compromised, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
Find and follow Organized Instincts on our Social Media presence for more morsels of financial goodness:
If you want more helpful information delivered directly to your inbox please hop on over to our homepage and join our subscriber’s list.