The evolution of technology is a wonderful thing, and it has allowed us to order just about anything we want from any part of the world. Although shopping in the middle of the night in your PJ’s can be extremely convenient, it’s also important to be alert and protect your financial information with some of the following tips.
Use secure websites
Make sure that the website you’re using has a valid security certificate, so that hackers can’t see your encrypted information. The easy way to do this is to look at your Internet address bar while you’re in the process of checking out: as long as it says https (as opposed to just http), then you are on a secure server. You will also want to make sure your own computer is secure and free of viruses; make sure you are actively using a virus scanner and that your firewall is turned on.
Shop from websites you can trust
Well-known websites and reputable brands can offer a breezy online shopping experience, but beware of online shops that you’ve never heard of before. Do a quick search and look at user reviews or the BBB to find out if this it is a website you can trust, or if other peoples’ experiences have turned into online shopping nightmares.
Use your credit card instead of your debit card
Nobody ever wants this information to get into the wrong hands and for it to be abused. But if this should ever happen, you want it to happen with your credit card, not your debit card. Your debit card is linked to your bank account—and that’s your money. Once it’s gone, it might be gone forever, even if your bank attempts to dispute any charges. With a credit card, it can often be easier to dispute charges and credit card companies frequently offer protection and warranties against all purchases. If a thief gets a hold of that information, it’s better than having access to your bank account. It’s best to use a credit card with the lowest available credit limit you have; a credit card that just barely covers the cost of your transaction would be the ideal one to use. For the utmost protection, use a gift card.
Never provide personal information
It’s one thing to provide your credit card information, including your shipping and billing address. But you should never include critical financial information, such as your Social Security Number.
Buy from reputable sellers
Buying from online auction websites can be a great way to score a fantastic deal, but shop wisely. Stick to sellers that have positive feedback and reviews from other buyers.
Don’t store your credit card information
A lot of online shops give consumers the option to store a semi-encrypted credit card number so that it can be easy to make future purchases. But to err on the side of caution, avoid doing this. Not only will it help protect against identity theft, but it will make it slightly more inconvenient to make impulse purchases, which is actually a good thing if you’re trying to save money.
Do you need money to make a large purchase? If you’re receiving long-term annuity payments, we can help! You have other options aside from just waiting for those periodic payments to come in. At Peachtree Financial Solutions, we provide cash for annuity payments. You can receive a lump sum payment now that is equal to some or all of your future annuity payments. To learn more about receiving cash for annuity payments, contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.