How safe is it to store your credit card information online?

·4 min read

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Learn how to shop safely online with these tips. (Photo: Getty)

The internet, right? We spend most of our days online, staying in touch with family, searching for jobs, watching a dog video or two and shopping. As a society, we love to shop online. However, entering sensitive financial information on our computer can potentially expose your data to internet creeps looking to spend your money.

Internet security firm Beyond Identity surveyed over 1,000 people about their password habits - the results were sobering. According to their findings, one in three people have tried to guess someone else’s password, and 73% of those who guessed were successful.

Here, we'll go through some tips to help keep you and your information on a strictly need-to-know basis. For starters, a password manager like LastPass can keep track of your various passwords so you don't have to. Read on for more...

Try LastPass for 30 days risk-free*

Man holding unpacking headphones from a shipping box filled with bubble wrap.
Learn how to keep your credit card information secure with these easy tips (photo: Getty)

Don't reuse passwords across multiple sites

Use a password manager like LastPass to store your login information. LastPass creates unique passwords for every account you use online. This includes email accounts, social media sites, banking apps, etc.

Not convinced? According to the same survey by Beyond Identity, a little over 39% of people used commonly known information to successfully guess another person's password about the other person. A smidge over 18% were able to guess another person's password by checking their social media profiles.

A password manager will provide you with a tougher-to-hack password (and store it for you), keeping your data safe and secure.

Try LastPass for 30 days risk-free*

Man working on laptop in coffee shop
Use extreme caution when using public wifi (photo: Getty)

Networks - it's not just for office parties

You can only be as secure as the network you are on if you shop from a trusted source. In order to ensure your online security, you should stick to trusted, private networks. Since you are in charge of making sure your home network is secure, it's the best choice.

Public networks are a no-go. When you're on a public network, you can never be sure who is able to see your information. Mobile networks also aren't completely secure, so as tempting as it can be, avoid shopping on your phone unless it's connected to private Wi-Fi.

Doing so can leave you vulnerable to hacking. "Hacking is when an unauthorized person gains access to your computer or system, putting your data at risk," Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com tells Yahoo Life. "This can result in hackers accessing your bank accounts, therefore being able to request new PIN numbers, hijack your username and passwords, as well as ruining your credit score."

Man entering credit card info online.
Follow these tips for a more secure online shopping experience (photo: Getty)

Watch where you shop — learn about these potential dangers

Unsafe sites that don't encrypt your data.

Look for the letter 's' after 'http' in the URL (or website address). A site that has “https://” at the beginning is a site that scrambles your data so that peering eyes can't see it. Some password managers like LastPass will alert you if you're about to enter a site that isn't encrypted.

Try LastPass for 30 days risk-free*

Phishing scams spoof a trusted retailer to steal your information.

Phishing scams are a common way to trick people into giving up their information. In this type of scam, a hacker sets up a site to look exactly like another site and tricks consumers into entering sensitive information there. If you enter your credit card information on that site, the hacker has it. To steer clear of phishing attempts, avoid clicking on links to sites in emails. You can also hover over the URL with your cursor and check the address to make certain it's legit.

Keep track of your transaction history

Make sure you're aware of transactions you complete online. Check your statement for suspicious receipts and bills carefully to spot unusual purchases.

Elderly woman looking concerned while on the phone, looking at her credit card.
Monitor your online transactions closely - and report any suspicious charges immediately (photo: Getty)

What to Do if You Suspect Credit Card Fraud

Get an alert system installed. Some financial institutions provide alerts when certain triggers happen within the account. For example, some banks notify customers about large withdrawals made at ATMs. Others might let you know when your balance drops below $1,000, or even allow you to lock your cards until you're ready to use them.

File a police complaint. File a police report with local law enforcement officials if there’s evidence that someone stole your financial information.

Try LastPass for 30 days risk-free*

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