Keeping Your Personal Information Safe Online


I cannot become too attached to a credit or debit card. There was once a time in my life I happily knew both my credit and debit card numbers and information by heart and could buy whatever I wanted online without ever getting up off the couch. Unfortunately, I can no longer do that. No, I suppose I could do that, but I choose not to do that anymore. It seems like every single time I’m attached to a card number, it’s compromised and I have to get a new card issued to me by my bank. It’s really just the most annoying thing you’ve ever encountered. I cannot help it, but I am positive that I this depresses me just a little bit.

I was so good at remembering my numbers. Sadly, the relationship I have with each card is now fickle. It’s short-lived, but always sweet. Yet another reason I dislike people; they can’t just get jobs and work for a living like the rest of us. They have to get on the internet and scam us so that we have to deal with the ramifications of their stupidity, and now I can no longer get attached to some of my favorite belongings. It is a travesty.

You see, scammers are everywhere. I’m married to a banker, so I hear those cute little lectures all the time from him about how I need to always avoid saving my card information online and how I need to be very careful where I shop – especially if it’s a small boutique that’s not very well-known (thankfully Nordstrom is pretty well-known and so far I’ve never been hacked there).

On that note, it seems that scammers are everywhere if you count the fact that I had four new debit cards – from the same bank account – last year. This year I’m up to two and it’s only July. It’s sad, but now we have to further educate ourselves as to where we can shop online what we can do and how we can avoid being scammed by jerks and criminals. Thank goodness for you that I’m married to a (very handsome) banker who can tell us these things in a very professional manner.

Too Much Information

When you’re applying for a credit card online, they’ll ask for your SSN and perhaps your mom’s maiden name. When you’re shopping for a dress to wear to the beach this weekend, they will not ask for that information. If the site does ask for that information, forget the dress and go shop somewhere else. That kind of personal information is not necessary and can only mean one thing; someone is scamming you.

No BBB Rating

Listen, if you have a BBB rating, you’re good to go. If you find an online site without one, I’d just recommend you leave the site. The same goes for really bad ratings by customers. There will always be some bad ratings even on the best sites because some people are just miserable and some have genuinely awful experiences, but still; no BBB rating means no shopping.

Look for the S

My husband is BIG on this one. If there is not an “s” in the http portion of a web address, he does not allow us to put our payment information into the site. For example, I could shop at a store with an https:// address but not one with an http:// address since that little “s” is actually quite important. It means secure, as in your payment information is.

Weird Payment Information

This happens more in the mail and over the phone, but my husband did learn that it happens online, too. If a site asks for strange payment information rather than a credit card or even PayPal as a method of checking out, it’s probably not very trustworthy and you should avoid it.

Always Look for Contact Information

In one of the conferences my husband attended, he was told that one way to help ensure customers are not dealing with scammers online is to be sure that there is contact information for a company. You see, those scamming you will likely not have much of that since they want your money and not your conversation. If you can’t find it, don’t shop there.

Email Sales

We all know by now that you have to be very, very careful when you buy something online from a person selling it themselves. However, you do have to be very careful of other things, too, such as email sales. Anyone you buy something from online should be very upfront about everything and should be happy to take a normal method of payment. Additionally, be sure never to pay for anything upfront when you shop like this. It’s almost always a sign of a scam.

Photo by Getty Images


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