Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft While Shopping Online

identity theft protection

We take the internet for granted.  It’s true.  We rarely think twice about giving our credit card and personal information online to make purchases and buy services.  But this complacency is quickly thwarted when identity theft occurs.  Learning how to protect yourself when shopping online requires a combination of Internet know-how, common sense and practical wisdom. Now that we conduct so much business online, it is necessary for us to exercise a little practical wisdom in order to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. One area that we need to build up our identity fraud protection is when we are shopping online. There are many advantages to taking care of our online shopping needs as opposed to visiting our neighborhood stores but there are also risks, too. Here are some practical advice that can help you to keep a watchful eye out for those unscrupulous scammers that are trying to get more from your purchase than you may have bargained for.

Secure Payment Agents

In order for you, the consumer, to be able to control the use of your sensitive information, the site you use must utilize a Secure Payment Agent (SPA). The SPA provides the ability to convert your personal information into encrypted data that would become useless after your transaction has been completed. This way, a hacker is unable to trace the information back to you. This type of identity fraud protection will encrypt your financial information, protect against phishing schemes, verify you and your device before allowing you to proceed, and allows the merchants to be able to send purchasing and shipping confirmations whenever needed.

Electronic Signatures

You can also make sure of the electronic signature feature when you want to verify your online purchases but you need to know the laws that govern this type of transaction before you proceed. Often this is nothing more than clicking on a particular box that says you have accepted the terms listed. Most people are in a hurry and often click the box without reading the law associated with it and discover too late that their online purchases come with an extra hassle. Transactions confirmed by an E-signature lack the necessary safeguards that can protect you against identity theft. If you’re concerned about identity fraud protection avoid using the E-signature method until you’ve read and understood the law fully.

Use Single Use Cards

If you’re really concerned about adequate identity fraud protection you can use a single-use card. Some major banks like Citibank or Bank of America offer these one-time-use-only cards to make online purchases. They are issued with a randomly generated account number in place of your real account number. This way you never have to give out your actual credit card number or use your real card to make a purchase. Once a transaction has been made, the card can not be used anywhere else. If you need to make another purchase, you can get another single-use card from your bank.
It is very convenient to shop online but that ease does not come without risks. Credit monitoring experts point out that those who exercise caution before they provide their private information online reduce their risk of credit fraud considerably. Identity theft is a major problem in this world today and will continue to be until consumers start taking the problem seriously and become more proactive in setting up a plan to protect themselves. You can get more information from about identity protection & credit monitoring at http://www.stopidentityfraud.org/credit-monitoring-services

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