9 Tips to Buy on the Internet or Pay by Card Safely

it’s a joy to walk the shopping malls and other shopping streets in search of birthday or Christmas gifts. For others, it’s hell or just impossible for lack of time. Sometimes it even turns into a marathon if the desired product is not available anywhere.

Since the Internet exists, the refractory to the gift race in street shop can avoid this ordeal and quietly seek online gift ideas. Remain the last step, the trickiest: online payment, which is usually done by credit card. How not to be fooled and not afraid of being hacked his card number?

Foreword: Watch out for Black Friday / Cyber Monday!
Ideal time to do business for you, the days surrounding the Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which respectively held on 24 and 27 November this year, are also a boon for criminals of all kinds. For this reason the government warns Internet users via a page of advice on its website PKbazaar.PK.

Its reminded some tips that you will discover in this topic: distrust on “too beautiful” offers, shopping head shot, reputation of sites, protection of bank data or choice of passwords. We discuss all of this in the chapters below.

To these are added two other warnings: one relates to the messages you may receive asking you to call a premium rate number following an order. Instead, use another communication channel such as the official contact numbers and means of the site or carrier. The other advice concerns phishing or “phishing”, a hacking technique that consists of imitating an official web page to steal identifiers, bank details or other sensitive data.

Learn more: how to protect yourself from phishing

1. Do not buy in any shop
First important step: the choice of the shop. When you have the choice, prefer an online store that you already know by fame or because you have already used it. Make sure that the general terms and conditions of sale are accessible, the physical address of the company must be clearly indicated with a means of contact (phone, email).

If you have no choice and you have doubts about the reliability of a seller, do not hesitate to contact them by phone or email under the pretext of checking the availability of a product. Do some research on the internet with the name of the shop or ask the community’s opinion in our pre-purchase advice forums to find an alternative or collect opinions.

2. Never “in the clear”
A credit card number is intended to be entered on a special secure page that must be encrypted to prevent the number from being intercepted by a third party. These pages are easily recognizable thanks to the HTTPS S that appears at the beginning of the address or the padlock present in the address bar. You can also activate your VPN if you subscribe to a service of this type.
On the other hand, credit card numbers should never pass through a simple contact form or through emails. Ideally, your real credit card number should almost never pass on the internet (see below).

3. Use an alternative payment method
Online retail sites sometimes offer alternative payment methods to the bank card. Some offer for example the payment via PayPal, which saves you from systematically providing your card number. However, you must open a PayPal account by providing your card number or credit the account.

The bank transfer can also be an interesting alternative if you can make transfers online. The seller usually asks to note a reference to find the transaction. However, do not be in a hurry, the validation of the order being longer than when paying by card.

4. Activate 3D Secure
Banking organizations have addressed these security issues and most banks or cards (Carter Blue, Visa, MasterCard …) offer security solutions such as 3-D Secure, a secure payment protocol on the Internet.

Date of birth, code card, SMS code … not all banks offer the same type of security. Check with your adviser what type of security your card offers and how to activate it before making online purchases.

5. Use a prepaid card
If you do not have a card, a bank account or you particularly want your numbers not to circulate on the internet, it is possible to acquire a prepaid credit card. These cards that can also be used in street shops are credited with a certain amount before use.
It is possible to buy them online or in cash at points of sale near you (local shops). However, you must pay a fee: a fixed amount on the management and / or certain amounts during the recharge or each transaction.

6. Use a virtual card or e-card
In the same spirit as the prepaid card, virtual cards or e-cards are offered by almost all French banks. They allow you to create virtual card numbers for a certain amount or at each payment.

The service is usually paid but the fees are lower than for prepaid cards. The procedure for creating virtual numbers can be done online via a special interface set up by the bank. Ask your bank adviser what solutions yours offers, you may have already available without knowing it.

7. Monitor your accounts
The payment time has passed and if you have decided to opt for a payment with your actual card number, it should be checked that the amount debited corresponds to the order you placed with the merchant, especially if you are a accustomed to buying on the internet.

Check that each debit on your bank statements or online account is for actual purchases. If you find a debit that does not match any of your payments, do not hesitate to contact your bank for explanations. The sooner the better if you want to cancel a payment or cancel a recurring payment.

8. Do not put in memory
Finally, some sites sometimes offer you at the time of payment to “keep in memory” your payment information to facilitate your task during your next purchases. Always unchecked this box to avoid leaving your card numbers in the merchant databases.

If for practical reasons you want to save this card, choose a strong password containing capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and mixed letters to prevent hacking of your account. Of course, never use the same password for multiple websites like AliExpress and Pkbazaar.PK.

9. Do not fool yourself!
It’s not just the payment that needs to be secure, your purchase needs to be done so that the benefits of buying on the internet do not become a disadvantage. Before the payment phase the price of the product, the choice of the site, the deadlines or other conditions of guarantees and after-sales service must be examined carefully in order not to be mistaken.

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