Although Internet business accounts for billions and billions of retail dollars annually, online companies are still not happy with how many people are not buying their products online. In large part, their disappointment is due to the perceived risks and dangers that consumers face as they release their credit card information into cyberspace. When given the choice, many customers would rather visit a shop or order something over the phone. At least they will be able to see the people who are swiping their credit card. Older generations are especially reluctant to release their valuable financial information to a faceless void.
There are lots of facts that are both re-assuring and worrisome concerning the safety of using your credit card to make purchases online. It is to your benefit to be informed of the risks that you take when you choose the convenience of online purchasing. Below you will find some of the major advantages and disadvantages to using a credit card for Internet purchases. When you are armed with the knowledge of dangers you may be faced with, you can use caution and therefore benefit from what Internet retailers have to offer.
Online credit card safety concerns
Hackers have and probably always will find ways to steal credit-card numbers from websites. Just as no store can ever be fully protected from motivated robbers, there is no way for a website to promise that no one can ever get your credit card information. Whether it is in a store or on the Internet, every time you use your credit card you are taking a risk that someone else could get their hands on your information.
The media has some responsibility in the broadcasting of credit card safety issues. Small isolated incidences can cause concern for a wide range of people who may not know the particulars of specific incidences.
Those looking to take advantage of you financially are not just limited to those who may steal your purchasing information. Some thieves can find your personal financial information through other means such as theft, tampering with mail and voyeurism. Someone may be using your information to make purchases online even if you yourself have never given your credit card information to an online retailer.
Online credit card safety and security measures
Most Internet retailers offer toll free lines and mail-in payment options for those who do not trust sending their information over the Internet. Remember it is in the retailer’s best interest to make their site as safe as possible so that consumers feel comfortable shopping with them. It is a good idea to be familiar with the security measures of a website you patronize often.
Many retailers have a fraud protection policy that includes the things that the Internet company will do to try to make the situation right. Some Internet retailers guarantee that you will not be held responsible for fraudulent charges or that you will only be responsible for a small fee in connection with the charges. You probably know that most credit card companies have similar policies. Although it may be a hassle to prove that you were not responsible for charges made to your account, a verified fraudulent charge will not permanently damage your reputation with credit bureaus or your pocketbook.
The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is an entity created in order to protect the consumer from fraud and other unfair business practices. The FTC is responsible for handling consumer issues and for encouraging companies to establish business practices that are designed to protect the interests of the consumer. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit the Federal Trade Commission online or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP.