Online shopping is very popular. The advantages are obvious: Around the clock there is an immense range of goods with delivery to your door. When it comes to payment, a credit card is the first choice for many. It is quick, convenient and also very safe. Still, consumers should heed some tips.
Keep your PC clean
Anyone going shopping on the net should first check whether their home PC is free of viruses and Trojans. Virus scanners and firewalls keep the operating system clean. However, consumers are only on the safe side if they regularly update the programs. Do not use computers with unknown security levels.
Never enter your credit card details on unencrypted websites. Use only a secure SSL connection. You can recognize an encrypted page by the abbreviation “https” in the address bar.
Buy only in reputable online shops
Before you shop in an online shop, make sure that it is trustworthy. Is there an imprint? Does the online shop offer different ways to contact us? Are the general terms and conditions (AGB) on the website and how are they structured? Seal of approval such as “Trusted Shops” or “TÜV Shopping” provide certainty that certain standards will be met. Customer rating portals provide an impression of how reliable an online shop is or whether problems occur more frequently.
Check your credit card statement regularly
So that unauthorized debits can be recognized promptly, consumers should check their credit card statements regularly every four weeks. If discrepancies are discovered, you should inform your bank immediately and object to the debit. As a rule, the bank then posts the amount back.
The prepaid credit card as an alternative
If you don’t want to take any risks, you can use a prepaid credit card to shop online. This has the advantage that only the amount available as credit on the card can be used. In this way, the risks of data theft are completely eliminated.
3D-Secure: New procedure makes card payments even more secure
The security of customer data is also important to the credit card companies. A new authentication method, the so-called 3D-Secure, makes credit card payments on the Internet even more secure. The password minimizes the risk of misuse.
With Mastercard this procedure is called “SecureCode”, with VISA “Verified by VISA”. Both security barriers are based on an individual password that only the cardholder knows. This password is requested as part of the payment process. If the consumer uses these security systems, he will be fully compensated if the payment is not properly received by the recipient. VISA goes one step further and also pays compensation for lost or damaged goods.
And there are other new security measures: The credit card manufacturer Gemalto has introduced a card in which the 3-digit check digit on the back of the credit card changes every 20 minutes. A method that could become the new security standard for credit cards.