June 25, 2016 by Brad Gunning

Using Your Credit Card Online


credit-card-fraudHave you ever entered your credit card information online? Since nearly 70% of Americans shop online regularly, chances are you have. It’s convenient. Often there’s free shipping. But the increase in online shopping has lead to an increase in identity theft online.

Here are a few steps to make sure your credit card information is safer online.

Make Sure The Online Business is Using a Secure Website

It’s pretty easy to tell if the website you’re on is secure. You may have noticed that typically a website’s URL starts with “http” (usually right before “www”). This stands for “hyper text transfer protocol.” Fun stuff. A secure version will add an “s” at the end: https. The “s” stands for – you guessed it – secure. On an https website, all communications between you and the website will be encrypted. (You’ll notice if you bounce around our website, pages where you might enter information – like a free quote page – are https.) If you’re using certain web browsers, like Google Chrome, you’ll see a little lock icon to the left of the URL.

Have Multiple Passwords

Even if a website is secure, a hacker may still be able to effect a breach. If you use the same login and password for all of your online accounts, the identity thief might end up with access to multiple accounts even though only one online business’ database was actually hacked.

Read the Website’s Privacy Policy

If you’re going to be entering private information on a website – and your credit card number certainly counts – make sure the website has a privacy policy and actually read it. It won’t be an enjoyable read, but you’ll want to see whether the online business will sell your information to third parties. Ideally, you’d avoid giving private information online if the company is free to spread that information to another company.

Consider Using a Credit Card with Extra Protection

A few credit card companies – for example Visa and Mastercard – offer services that add an extra layer of protection for online purchases. Verified by Visa, for example, lets you use a personal password when you make an online purchase to protect your card from unauthorized use. Credit cards with these extra protections keep your credit card information a step further from a potential identity thief.

Purchase an Identity Theft Protection Service

Even if you take all the necessary precautions, any time you enter your credit card information online you run the risk of you personal information being hacked. An identity theft protection service can be purchased for as little as $14.99 a month. The top services include identity theft protection of up to $1,000,000. Some, like Identity Guard, include an internet security suite.

Identity Guard









The Standard, MetLife, Principal Financial Group, Genworth, & Lincoln Financial Group