How to Safely Shop Online
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How to Safely Shop Online

Do you regularly use your debit card for online purchases? Do you have payment information saved on online shopping accounts? Do you use autofill to enter your payment information? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your payment information may be at risk. Online retailers are a popular target for cybercriminals, which makes your information vulnerable to a data breach. A data breach is when a cyberattack results in the theft of private user information.

If you shop online and want to secure your payment information from a data breach, consider the following tips:

Avoid Making Payments With Debit Cards

When you make purchases online, always use a credit card instead of a debit card. Debit cards are linked to your bank account, so if a bad guy can access your debit card information, they can access your entire bank account. Because debit cards use the cash available in your bank, disputing a charge can lead to the long and complicated process of replacing stolen funds. Credit card purchases add to your debt, which means that a fraudulent charge won’t immediately impact your finances. Using a credit card for online purchases allows you to dispute a charge, without losing access to your cash.

Avoid Saving Payment Methods for Future Purchases

When you shop online, many retailers offer to save your payment information for future purchases. While this option is more convenient than entering your payment information every time you shop, always decline saving this information. Unfortunately, data breaches happen and even the most reputable online retailers are vulnerable to a breach. Avoid saving your payment method altogether so that your information is not at risk during a cyber attack.

Avoid Saving Payment Methods for Autofill

When you make purchases online, internet browsers such as Chrome, Edge, and Firefox offer to save your payment information for autofill. Even if it is more convenient to use the autofill feature, always decline saving this information. If bad guys physically or remotely gain access to your browser, they can steal any information that your browser stores for autofill purposes. It may be inconvenient to manually enter your payment information every time you shop online, but the inconvenience is worth keeping your information secure.

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