When Shopping Online
Protect Yourself With a Virtual Credit Card
A virtual credit card is a number you can use for a one-time purchase online. You can deter-
mine an upper limit for purchase price, as well as an expiration date (as soon as the same
day). Say you want to make a purchase with a specialized vendor with an iffy reputation. Your
credit card issuer gives you a temporary number, and you authorize it for $50 for today only.
Then you make that one purchase. You don’t have to worry about your information being
sold or stolen because the number won’t work for additional purchases.
Programs areWorth It?
Some retailers offer lackluster rewards
that don’t prompt you to shop there
more often or choose the store over
a similar one. However, here are some
loyalty programs that will make it
worth your while to keep coming back:
Get five percent off
in-store and online purchases.
Sephora Beauty Insider Program.
Reward your beauty addiction with
points that can be redeemed for prod-
ucts as well as exclusive discounts.
Get coupons and cash
back to spend on future purchases.
Best Buy Reward Zone.
receive exclusive offers, and get access
to special events.
Bloomingdale’s Loyalist Program.
Get points for purchases and use
them to get gift cards later on.
JCPenney’s JCP Rewards.
$10 reward when you spend $100
in a month.
Receive free shipping
on most online orders, plus periodic
Nordstrom Fashion Rewards.
to earn points; redeem points for
nline shopping can be a whole lot of
fun, but it can also present security
threats. Every time you use your credit
card or provide personal information,
you’re trusting that such data will be
used responsibly. Given that this is not
always the case, you should always take
appropriate precautions including the
suggestions listed here.
Know the site.
Try to stick with
well-known shopping sites with good rep-
utations. If you want to make a purchase
elsewhere, first do research to find out
other shoppers’ reactions to the retailer.
Protect your information.
what information is asked for in the
checkout process. Don’t provide any
information you don’t need to, and if
you think any required information is
unnecessary, cancel your purchase.
Use credit cards.
Debit cards are
convenient, but credit cards offer the
added protection of the credit card
company intervening on your behalf if
a purchase goes wrong.
Understand the return policy.
retailers will gladly take returns. If the one
you’re using doesn’t, you could end up
wasting money on items you don’t want.
Refrain frompurchasing in public.
Conducting any type of business while
using public Wi-Fi is unwise since scam-
mers might be able to intercept your data.