I will start with saying that, after so many data breaches reported over the years, it is impossible to say that your credit card information is safe when stored on your computer or in stores’ databases. However, you can be a little more vigilant while shopping online, by following the ideas below.
- Always check the shopping cart website address before entering your credit card payment information, ensuring that it is the correct one and that has an encryption certificate installed which is represented by “https://”, instead of “http://”. “https” means that all information you send and receive from the online store is encrypted.
- If you receive an email with a special offer, it is best that, instead of clicking on the links in the email, you go directly to the website by typing it in your browser’s address bar. Your browser could be Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, FireFox, Windows Edge, etc.
- However, if you decide to click on the link provided in the email, hover over it first (if available) and wait to see the website address (url) that it directs to. The link could be a redirecting link, instead of the online store website address. In this case, use your judgement… just remember, it is always safer if the url starts with “https://”, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t direct you to a malicious, spamming website.
- Additionally, if you’re still questioning whether to click or not on a special offer link from an email, view the email header details and do a quick review of the sender. Most email applications have an option in the “from/to” area that will allow you to view more details about the sender.
- Never save credit card information unencrypted on your computer, in the cloud, on your phone, tablet, etc. Never send it via email.