David Papp Blog

Is it safe to use your credit card for online purchases

As transcribed from my video: https://youtu.be/_43ytWh_mxM

“I get asked frequently about the security and safety of using credit cards for payment. There’s physical payments, where you’re actually in person making a purchase, and then online payments.

Is It Safe To Use Your Credit Card
Is It Safe To Use Your Credit Card

Let’s talk about physical payments. Is it safe to use tap versus putting the card in and having to type in my pin? My recommendation is anytime you have the opportunity to tap, that you tap your credit card, because no camera or person shoulder surfing, or cashier watching, or a little pin pad recorders, are all going to be not possible if you’re just tapping your credit card, and no, your pin code is not transmitted when you do a tap, it’s only the credit card number for doing the payment. You’re not giving away that confidential piece of information so that somebody could compromise.

Now let’s talk about online payments. Very different. Do you use your credit card online to make a payment? My recommendation is, I avoid it at all cost if I can. Unless it’s a very trusted source and I know that I am making a very secure connection. I’m not doing this in any internet cafes, and I’m not doing it over public WiFi sitting at Starbucks, Second Cup, or Tim Hortons, or some other coffee shop. What I’m doing is making sure that I am using a VPN connection. It’s a secured encrypted tunnel. I have a video on that if you want to go and look at my recommendations on VPN providers that you should use for virtual private networks. I’m also making sure that there’s that little lock symbol on my web browser. It says https and it says secure, to make sure that the information between my web browser and the web server at the other end is encrypted, and if I have a choice, I am not putting in my credit card number into that form.

What am I doing? I’m using some kind of tokenized payment system, like PayPal. That’s why I like PayPal because PayPal has the ability to do a one-time authorization of a payment to a vendor. They don’t get your credit card information. They cannot go and charge it again for other charges, unless of course, the vendor that you went and subscribed to has you doing a recurring payment by PayPal, and that’ll be very obvious to you. It’ll come up on the screen, and it’ll say, “Are you sure that you want to authorize a recurring payment for the current payment and future payments?” No, you want to make sure that you’re doing a one-time payment. If by chance you did a recurring payment on PayPal, you can go into your settings of your PayPal account, review all of the recurring payment merchants that have access to your account, and you can disable them. I do that very frequently. Probably once every month or two. I review everything on there, and I disable anything that is set for authorized access to my account, because, I want to make sure that I know and have control when I give out money from my account and make online payments.

Another idea to use gift cards, to use anything online where you’re not giving out your information of your card. That’s what bothers me is that credit cards are too easy to use and share. Once you know the credit card number, and you know the expiry date, generally speaking that’s enough, in a lot of cases, to go and make online purchases. The black market for credit card numbers is quite prevalent, and you want to make sure that you have enabled credit card alerts on your credit card as well, so that any time a charge goes through from your credit card that you get notified right away by email or text notification. Most credit cards allow this ability. I have enabled it on all my credit cards, and it tells me immediately. I could be sitting at a cashier right, and using my credit card and immediately I get an alert. It’s very quick. The reasoning that it’s good is because if something bad has happened, then you can immediately shut it down or call your credit card company and say that’s an unauthorized charge.

Another tip, use a second credit card for your online purchases. If you actually need to use a credit card, and you can’t tap it, and you can’t go and use something like PayPal or some other token based payment system, I would recommend that you have a second credit card with a low limit. The purpose behind that is if that credit card gets compromised, they can’t do much with it. It has a low limit. 500 or 1,000 dollars. Also, if you cancel that card, because it got compromised and you need to get another one, it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to affect you going and contacting all of your accounts that have preauthorized purchases. Also perhaps you’re traveling. When you travel and you need to use a credit card for payment, which I would be very careful with when you’re in a country that is unknown to you, again, you could use your second online credit card for those purchases that are questionable because, again, if it gets compromised, it’s not your main credit card that has all your preauthorized payments associated with it.

These are some tips that you can use if you are doing physical, in-person credit card payments or online purchases or you’re traveling in another country, or if it’s unknown to you because you want to make sure that you safeguard yourself against the inconveniences of dealing with a compromised credit card.”