Just about everybody shops online these days. Even so, many people worry about security issues and fraud.  I was recently asked if I could share some high-level tips and best practices for online transactions. Here is what I recommend:

  1. Try to consolidate all online purchases onto a single credit or debit card.  That way, you are more likely to notice any unusual (potentially fraudulent) transactions.
  2. Never enter your credit card into a checkout page on a website unless you see that the URL (web address) for that page begins with HTTPS://.   The last “S” tells you that your credit card information will be sent securely (encrypted) over the Internet. That may seem very technical, but look at the example below:https://secure2.homedepot.com/MCCCheckout/Checkout.do
  3. For rentals and Airbnb type arrangements, don’t fall for the common scam, where the supposed lessor requires payment in advance using prepaid cash cards like OneVanilla. Think about it; you are sending irrecoverable cash equivalent to an unidentified stranger who probably doesn’t actually have a rental or apartment for you to use.