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Here are five ways you can protect your credit card information when shopping online

Shopping online is more popular than ever. In fact, a Statistics Canada study found that the percentage of Canadians who shop online has increased from 73% in 2018 to 82% in 2020. And according to the Canadian Bankers Association, an “overwhelming majority” of online shoppers use a credit card when making purchases.

However, the widespread usage of credit cards for online shopping has also made them an appealing target for thieves and fraudsters. So even though using a credit card is generally secure, it pays to take some steps to keep your sensitive credit card information safe.

In this light, we outline five ways you can protect your credit card information when shopping online.

1. Ensure that you are shopping on a secure website.

When shopping online, it’s important to know if the site you are using is secure and that your transaction is encrypted.  According to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), one way to know if the website is secure is if the URL starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP. Another way is to check if there’s a padlock icon next to the URL field on your web browser.

2. Use strong and unique passwords.

A strong password is often your first line of defense against would-be cyber thieves so consider creating one that adheres to the best practices outlined by the CCCS. This includes using a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, as well as including at least one number and special character. And don’t forget to log out when you’ve finished shopping!

3. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when shopping online.

While convenient, public Wi-Fi in locations such as coffee shops, libraries and airports is often not secure and can expose your credit card information to cyber thieves. Risks outlined by the CCCS include hacking, malware and inadvertently connecting to a fake Wi-Fi hotspot designed to gain access to your computer. So, it’s best to avoid using public Wi-Fi when shopping online. 

4. Check your statements regularly.

Regularly monitoring the transactions on your account statement will allow you to immediately identify and report any unusual activity to your credit card issuer. They can then take the necessary steps to stop any purchases and investigate the breach.

5. Use a credit card with robust security features.

When shopping online, it’s also important to use a credit card that has strong security features that can protect you from theft and fraud. For instance, Home Trust’s range of credit cards includes Visa Zero Liability which protects you against unauthorized purchases.

Remember that keeping your credit card information safe when shopping online really comes down to vigilance and common sense. And if you are interested in learning more about the security features of Home Trust’s credit card products, visit hometrust.ca/credit-cards.

The information, materials and opinions contained in this Blog are provided for our information only. This Blog does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice and you should not rely on it as an alternative to specific advice based on your particular circumstance. This Blog contains links to third party websites. These links are provided for information and convenience; Home Trust does not endorse the content of any third party website, and it makes no representation or warranty as to the information on such third party sites. By clicking on any link to a third party site, you leave Home Trust’s website and do so at your own risk. Home Trust disclaims all liability for any damage or loss that results from your access to or reliance on information contained in this Blog or any third party site.

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