As we outlined in the two previous installments of our Privacy Perils series (see post from July 11 and July 22), there are a number of steps consumers can take to minimize the risk of potential credit card theft while shopping online. Listed below are our final suggestions on how to protect your credit card information:

  • Do not make credit card transactions over public Wi-Fi or unknown networks. It is better to use a cell network/air card connection if you must bank or shop online in a public place, such as an airport.
  • Do not make purchases from untrusted apps on your phone or apps acquired outside of the applicable app store, especially if you are using Android.
  • While inconvenient, preferably do not store your credit card information for future purchases. There will always be exceptions, but it is best to limit the number of merchants storing credit card information, if possible.
  • All online shopping sites essentially use the same validation questions to recover your passwords, like: "What was the name of your first pet?" or "What is your favorite color?". Just as you should not use the same password for every login and website, you should not use the same answer questions. Lie, and store the answers in a secure password manager.