How to Know If a Website Is Safe to Give Credit Card Information to?

Using secure websites helps reduce the risk of credit card fraud.
Using secure websites helps reduce the risk of credit card fraud. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Many people turn to shopping online because of the convenience and savings that it can provide. When you shop online, you will eventually need to give your credit card numbers to a merchant so that you can pay for your purchases. At this stage, you will need to make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate website that will not steal your credit card information and use it for something else. There are a few ways you can tell if you are dealing with a safe website.

Deal only with reputable websites when shopping online. While you might be able to find a low price on a website that you have never heard of, you cannot be sure that it is a legitimate company. Stick with large online companies that have a good reputation in the industry. This will typically help you avoid problems with credit card fraud.

Look at the address bar at the top of your Internet browser. At the beginning of the website address, you should see "https" to notify you that you are on a secure webpage. If the beginning of the website address simply says "http" you are not dealing with a secure webpage. This means that someone could see your credit card numbers when you send them to the company through the Internet.

Find the security status bar on your Internet browser, if you are using Internet Explorer. In this bar, you should see a padlock. If the padlock is closed, this means that you are dealing with a secured website. If the padlock is open, it means that you are dealing with an unsecured website. With other Internet browsers, you may not see a padlock but something similar that indicates you are dealing with a secure website.

Look for third-party verification emblems on the site. For example, if you see a VeriSign logo, this tells you that the company is considered to be a trusted merchant. You can also look for Better Business Bureau logos and similar emblems to tell you that you are dealing with a legitimate company that is not out to take your money. When looking for these symbols, make sure that some of the other factors appear to make the site safe, as well. These emblems could be copied to make a site look safe when it actually is not.

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