How Do I Know That It's Safe To Provide My Credit Card Number Online? | CreditShout

How Do I Know That It’s Safe To Provide My Credit Card Number Online?

By Kaitlin T / January 27, 2011

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Q: My son has been asking for my credit card number so he can make online purchases. I’m a little weary of this. How do I know if the site is secured enough to protect my information?

A: When shopping online, buy from known retailers. Places like Sears.com, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and other well-known retailers are generally very secure. If you have never heard of the site before, your risks go up. It is better to stick with companies you or your friends have personally bought from before, if possible. Also, avoid giving out your credit card number in an email, since email is not very secure. If you have the option, give your number over the phone instead (and only if you initiated the call), or on a secure website.

Check if the website has a privacy policy (there’s usually a link at the bottom of the home page). Read the sections about how your information is shared with third parties. They may need to share your information with a few parties, such as your credit card company and anyone that ships your order, but they should not sell this information or give it to anyone who is not involved in getting your order to you. If you have any doubts about the policy or if there isn’t one, don’t risk it.

If you are using a shared computer, make sure to log out of any accounts that store your credit card number after use. Make sure the log in information is not saved. Better yet, only enter your credit card number from your personal computer. Sometimes the auto complete feature of your browser may remember what you type into certain fields, and the next person to use the computer can see what you have typed in.

If you already gave your number out and are worried, keep an eye on your credit card statements. If anything looks wrong, call your credit card company immediately. Most companies will reimburse you if your card is stolen or used without your knowledge. Don’t wait too long, or you may become responsible for the charges.

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