Is Using a Prepaid Credit Card for Online Shopping Safe?

Using a prepaid credit card online is actually safer than using a traditional credit card online. A prepaid credit card is not connected to your actual credit score or personal information. Instead, it is a generic card you purchase by providing a vendor with a lump sum of money. Once that money is spent, there is no further use for the card or any of its information. As such, you have much less liability if the information for your prepaid card is stolen.

Online Identity Theft

Online identity theft is a common part of life today, unfortunately, because so many people bank and shop on the Internet. The information can be accessed if a person is able to hack into the servers for any of the sources you are using while online. Most retailers have secure servers, but there is always the possibility of fraud and theft. Once a hacker has your personal information from one purchase, that information can be used to steal more money or make charges to your name using your other credit cards or bank accounts.

Protecting Yourself Online

The first step for online protection is to avoid entering personal information into unsecured sights. Secure sights will wear a badge guaranteeing you are in a secure section. The next step is to avoid entering personal information when you are at a public computer. Never use the computer at a library or other public place to shop or bank; your information can be accessed easily by another person using the computer. If you would like to go even further, consider setting up an online payment account through a service like PayPal. In this case, you will only have to enter your personal information into one secure sight. From there, your PayPal account can be used to make payments.

Using a Prepaid Card Online

Using a prepaid card online is one way to limit your exposure to identity theft. Your prepaid card is not actually a credit card, and your personal information is not accessible through the card. In fact, the card will not likely even have your name on it. Instead, you will only have a number to use going forward. If an identity thief were to get this information, the thief could not use it to access your bank accounts and other credit cards. The thief could only spend the remaining sum you have on the card. After that, the information would be useless for the thief.

Downside of Prepaid Card Theft

There is one risk you are exposing yourself to when using a prepaid card online: you cannot cancel the card if the information is stolen. With a credit card, you can report the identity theft and have the credit line immediately cancelled. A prepaid credit card is like cash; if it falls into the wrong hands, there is nothing you can do to recover the sum lost. This is the greatest risk for people who load prepaid cards with large sums of money as they would suffer greatest if the card is stolen.

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