Tips For Safer Online Shopping

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By Donna McGill | Dec 14, 2011 | Updated: Sep 14, 2019

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Consumers using online shopping have been amazed to learn that cyber crime now affects more people per hour than the number of babies born!

With 50,000 people being affected by cyber crime somehow every hour, the figure is around 3 times the 15,300 babies which are born every hour.

This is a very scary statistic and it is one to keep in mind over the holiday period when cyber crime rates are at their highest. As more and more consumers make use of computers, iPads and mobile phones to purchase gifts for friends and family, thieves are on the alert for ways to hack into systems and snatch email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers and Paypal information.

A recent survey by Verizon found that around 80% of American retailers are not yet compliant with Payment Card Industry regulations with regard to security. This means that consumers are being left particularly vulnerable to theft while online shopping.

According to the FTC, a large number of scams and thefts occur during the Christmas shopping rush. However they have issues a list of 10 tips to help consumers fend off criminals this Christmas – and of course throughout the year!

  1. Use credit cards rather than debit cards as they offer more liability cover.
  2. Use only one credit card for online shopping, preferably a prepaid card or a “virtual card number.”
  3. Secure your mobile phone if you use it for shopping. This involves backing up regularly and also enabling data encryption and antivirus features.
  4. Never reveal private financial data over shared wireless networks such as in coffee shops.
  5. Never give out credit card data over the phone unless you initiate the transaction and trust the retailer.
  6. Never link your bank account to online services such as Paypal as it is easy for hackers to break into these accounts and drain your bank account.
  7. Ensure your computer has the latest browser, antivirus and firewall protection installed and update it regularly.
  8. Be aware of phishing email scams which usually include links to fake deals on sites which harvest your personal details.
  9. Only use sites with secure checkout and leave suspicious sites immediately.
  10. Check bank and credit card statements frequently for unrecognized transactions.

If you keep this advice in mind you will reduce the chances of falling victim to cyber crime. Credit card fraud is something no-one wants to deal with but it can be especially inconvenient at this time of year while making online shopping.

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ADVERTISER DISCLOSURE. Market Pro Secure® is an independent payment card comparison service supported by advertisers, a complete list of which can be seen in our Editorial Guidelines. Even though some of these advertisers are financial product providers and credit card issuers, our paid partnerships don’t affect card ratings or the Best Card Picks on our website. We don't post any content that is provided or commissioned by any of our partners. However, our paid partnerships may affect how and where products appear on our site, including the order in which they are presented within listing categories. This order may also be affected by our website rules, as well as the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval. We can't offer any warranty for the accuracy of the credit card information we share on our website, even though we do our best to keep the Terms and Conditions, rates, and other credit card details up-to-date. For more accurate information, click "APPLY NOW" to get transferred to the credit card issuer's official website. Market Pro Secure® doesn't include all available payment cards in the marketplace.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE. Market Pro Secure® doesn't post any content that is provided or commissioned by our advertisers, the majority of which are financial product providers and credit card issuers whose offers we feature on our website. The entirety of our editorial content – including any opinions, analyses, reviews, and evaluations – belongs to the author alone, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.