Don’t pay through an unsecure connection.
When making a payment online, make sure you’re on a secure connection. Reputable retailers will direct you to a secure or encrypted checkout page so that only you and the merchant can view your credit card information. To ensure you’re on a secure connection, look for:
- A lock icon in your browser window
- A URL that starts with "https" (instead of just “http”)
- The wording "Secure Sockets Layer" (SSL)
- A pop-up box that says you’re entering a secure portion of the website.
Avoid passwords that are easy to hack.
Create strong passwords for your accounts. Passwords with your birthdate, address, or phone number could easily be compromised. Some websites may have their own specific guidelines, but a strong password will generally include a random mix of the following:
- Upper and lower case letters
You can also increase your security by using longer passwords, which are more difficult to hack. Research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology says the length of a password influences its strength, and recommends using as many characters as possible.