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Use Virtual Credit Card Number to Shop without Concerns about Privacy Intrusion

Online shopping is commonplace today and people love it because of the convenience and discounts that it offers. There are many more advantages of online shopping but conversely, there are also a number of risks involved. To help in generating more business, advertisers use online tracking to gain insight into the mindset of consumers and mold their business strategy according to the data they get. Thus, the biggest concern of online shoppers is to shop without being tracked.Online Shopping Privacy

While there are a number of tools, add-ons and plug-ins that help you in covering your tracks online, hackers and miscreants always seem to be one step ahead of you in terms of technology and tracking methods. That is the reason why Milagros Johnson, a prominent consumer advocate, has come up with a very effective solution. She has suggested that consumer use a ‘virtual credit card number’ for online shopping. This mode of online shopping not only ensures your safety but is also a good way of protecting yourself against cases of identity theft.

The Case of Massachusetts Driving License Number

Earlier in Massachusetts, the driving license number issued was none other than the applicant’s social security number. But over time, the authorities realized that the social security number was private information that should not be disclosed even to the local police department. That was the reason why they chose to assign a random number that was generated by the computer, based on your social security number. This number would be preceded by the letter ‘S’ which indicated that this was a randomly generated number. This concept was the basis on which the virtual credit card number was coined.

Virtual Credit Card Number Is Provided By the Credit Card Company

The Virtual Credit Card Number is a random computer generated number that the credit card company provides the credit card holder on request. This random number is mapped to your credit card number in the server of the bank. This virtual credit card number is also temporary and has an expiry period that you can define.

This period could be anything from a week to a couple of months. Imagine that you wish to shop with your credit card during the holiday season which will roughly last a month. You use your random number and after the dedicated period, this number will expire. Even if the online shopping companies save this number, it will be of no consequence after the dedicated period is over.

Other Tips to Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

Make sure that the page you are shopping on has a secure encryption certificate. You can verify this by looking at the address bar. If it is displaying ‘https’ or the symbol of a lock or a green colored rectangle, that means that the page has a proper encryption certificate.

Also, after you finish shopping, click on the checkout option. In most of the cases where the shopping page is a fake, there won’t be a checkout page. Those kinds of pages are set up by miscreants to obtain your credit card information.

Never Use Debit Card for Online Shopping

Another common mistake that you should avoid is not to use a debit card for online shopping. Debit card number is usually linked to your bank account number and that information can be gleaned by the miscreants. If you are insistent on using a debit card, make sure you have a separate account with a debit card exclusively for online shopping. This will eliminate that threat of your online bank account getting hacked.

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