Most students often find themselves in need of assistance from various online education websites. For example, sites that offer online tutoring and help with essays and dissertations. Most of these sites accept payment through credit cards.
However, the use of credit cards online continues to face new security threats. In 2019, the U.S.A alone suffered losses amounting to $16.9 billion through credit card fraud. Consumers directly paid $3.5 billion of this amount.
As a consumer of educational content online, you do not have to be part of such statistics. By learning a few tips, you can boost the safety of your credit card information and learn online stress-free.
Learn Basic Safety Tips
The basics, in this case, refer to the status of the computer or mobile device. Ensure that they all have an antivirus that is up to date. If you must use public networks when filling your credit card data on a site, ensure you have a reliable VPN service.
Another safety tip involves checking the URL of a site before filling in your details. Ensure it starts with https and not HTTP. Besides, check for a small padlock on the address bar before giving away your credit card details.
Stick to Reputable Sites
Your online learning sessions should start with a search for a trustworthy site. The exact way you would search for a reputable essay writing service when you want help with an essay. If you had an experience with an educational site before and were satisfied, stick with it.
Reputable sites are more likely to have sufficient data protection frameworks in place. Thus, if you find a new website that looks sketchy, it could be a scam. It would be best if you stayed away.
Use Alternative Payment Methods Whenever Possible
Some online educational sites accept payment through other methods such as Paypal and Western Union. If you find a site that you trust, opt for the alternative payment methods. It is better to avoid giving out your credit card information whenever possible. The idea is that because cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal from you.
Besides these options, you could also establish if a website accepts payments through apps. If they do, you could use apps such as Apple Pay instead of your credit card.
Avoid Clicking on Phishing Baits
Researchers have reported significant spikes in phishing emails over the past several months. Avoid falling for such baits by restraining from clicking on links that pop up on websites. Furthermore, do not open attachments that are sent through email by people unknown to you.
Besides, never key in your credit card credentials into an educational website you reached by following a link. It is another way through which credit card takeovers happen. You should always do a web search for a site to access it. Alternatively, you can enter the website’s URL on a new browser tab.
Maintain the Use of a Few Credit Cards
If you have several credit cards, consider sticking to using one or two for your online learning. Such practice minimizes the likelihood of access to all your financial data. We recommend the preference for mobile payment services whenever possible instead of credit cards.
Separate Your Education Related Searches From Work
If you are using the same computer for your work and learning, consider using different browser accounts for each. Alternatively, you could use entirely different browsers for these purposes.
For example, you could use Google Chrome for all your work-related searches. Mozilla Firefox, in contrast, could entirely be for your online education needs. This way, any malicious extensions you may accidentally download cannot get to your work.
Be Cautious About WiFi
We all like to save on our mobile data from time to time and use WiFi instead. Many of us especially connect to free public WiFi without knowing the security threats it poses to our data.
For the safety of your credit cards, it is essential to beware of the WiFi available for connection when not at home. Sometimes criminals set up free WiFi networks to steal your data and listen in. Also, avoid using public devices when studying online.
Online learning has become inevitable in this digital age. The same goes for the use of credit cards to pay for online learning services. However, you need not always panic when using your credit card online. By following these few tips, you may feel more relaxed the next time you seek educational services online.