3 Tips for Keeping Your Personal Information Safe When Online Shopping

Online shopping has allowed consumers across the country to say goodbye to the mall and buy all of their holiday gifts from the comfort of their sofa. But this convenience has brought to light a new breed of criminals — cyber thieves and hackers. These criminals use special software and fake websites to trick you into providing your personal information. They then use your bank accounts and credit cards to go on a shopping spree — and leave you with the bill.

If you’re planning on buying holiday gifts online this season, consider these three essential tips to keep your information safe.

  • Use credit cards over debit cards. Most credit cards have fraud protections in place that prevent you from paying for unauthorized transactions. If a criminal gets ahold of your debit card, they can drain your accounts before you notice something’s wrong.

  • Use disposable credit cards. If you don’t have a credit card, consider shopping online with a disposable prepaid card. Prepaid credit cards have a set balance on them. Once the money on the card is gone, you can buy a new one or reload it. These cards are available from most grocery stores and gas stations and have no ties to your identity or banking info. This makes them essentially useless to cybercriminals.

  • Verify website security. Clever criminals have been known to copy web pages to trick consumers into entering their personal information. Before you input your credit card info, check and make sure that the website you’re visiting has a URL that’s spelled correctly. You should also make sure the address begins with “https“ instead of “http.” This means that the website is secure.

As a provider of bad credit auto loans in Philadelphia, PA, PA Auto Credit knows firsthand just how damaging fraud can be to your credit score. If you’re recovering from fraud or another cause of bad credit, you might have trouble getting the auto loan you need to keep your family safe this winter. If you’d like to learn more about Fresh Start Financing or repo finances in Trenton, NJ, from PA Auto Credit, give us a call today at 800-371-1769.