Believe it or not, making online credit card transactions is often the safest way to make a payment to any type of business as long as the consumer follows a few simple rules. Payments should only be made at reputable websites that are fully secure, which is denoted by the "https:/" prefix. Likewise, a consumer should never click on an email to access a bill payment function for any website since there is no way to ensure that the enclosed hyperlink is genuine. Another smart practice that consumers should follow regularly is to remove spyware and malware from their systems to prevent criminals from accessing personal information.
The majority of the world's online credit card transactions take place at either a merchant website or a billing department. While most of these portals are considered safe, consumers should get in the habit of checking to make sure that the website is indeed legitimate. A secure website address will always start with "https://www" and end with either ".com" or ".net". There are also many other types of website extensions, but they are rarely used for legitimate businesses since they can not transmit over secure channels. Even if an online business is 100%-legitimate at a ".biz" website, for example, it is much easier for criminals to intercept online credit card transactions on these channels.
Email fraud is one of the fastest-growing criminal activities in the world. Cyber criminals send out hundreds of thousands of fake emails daily pretending to be legitimate businesses, banks, and other organizations. Most of those emails contain false links within them that are used to steal credit card or banking information. Consumers should never use the links inside emails when making online credit card transactions; instead, they should access the website directly by typing in the physical address.
Some consumers also fall victim to cyber criminals because of vulnerabilities on their personal computer system. Viruses and malware can contain a program called a keylogger; this type of software records the actual keystrokes that a consumer types into various forms around the Internet. Once online credit card transactions are made, the criminal has all the information he needs to commit fraud on other websites with the consumer's information. A good anti-virus program coupled with a spyware remover can eliminate these problems almost entirely.