Safest Methods when Paying Online

When paying online, many people are afraid of identity theft taking place. This is a valid concern, as it does happen on a regular basis. However, there are some methods of payment that are safer than others when it comes to making purchases online. Here are some of the safest methods of paying online.

Debit Cards

Many people utilize debit cards when making purchases online. This is a common strategy, and it does offer you some safety features. It is becoming increasingly difficult for thieves to steal your debit card number with the protection that is offered by many online merchants. However, if they do, they will also have to obtain your CVV code on the back of your debit card. Even if they do make a fraudulent purchase with your debit card, you can limit the amount of personal liability by reporting the purchase quickly. If you report the purchase to your bank within two days, your personal liability is only $50. If you wait beyond two days, your personal liability jumps up to $500. If you do not report the transaction for over 60 days, you could be liable for any charges that are made. This means that if you plan on using your debit card regularly, you will want to check your account balance frequently to see if there are any fraudulent transactions.

Credit Cards

Despite what many people believe, credit cards are one of the safest methods of paying online. According to the Fair Credit Billing Act, you are going to be responsible for a maximum of only $50 if someone makes a fraudulent purchase with your credit card. This is the maximum that is allowed by the law. However, there are certain credit card companies that have a $0 liability policy in place. 

Credit Card Codes

Both Visa and Mastercard allow customers to utilize a code when shopping online in order to increase security. Visa calls their program "Verified by Visa" and Mastercard calls theirs "SecureCode." Both of these programs provide you with a unique code that will be known only by you and the credit card company. Whenever you shop online, the retailer will ask you for your code. If you are unable to input the code, the transaction will not go through. This is basically the same idea as having a pin number with your ATM card.


One of the safest and easiest methods to pay online is through PayPal. PayPal is a third-party processing service owned by eBay. With PayPal, you will have a number of different ways to purchase online goods safely. You can link PayPal to your bank account, credit card or debit card. Whenever you purchase something from a merchant that accepts PayPal, you will be able to make the purchase without providing your financial details to the merchant. This means that only you and PayPal will have access to your important information.