Winter is fast approaching, and you know what that means? Black Friday sales and lots of online Christmas shopping! We do more shopping online than ever, especially with giant corporations like Amazon, making everything so fast and convenient. But do you know how to stay safe while shopping online to ensure that your banking details stay secure? If you don’t, then don’t worry; we’re here to help you stay safe this winter season.
Choose Your Online Stores Carefully
While Amazon is incredibly convenient for buying everything in one place, sometimes they don’t have what you need, and you need to visit an independent retailer. However, not all online stores are legitimate, and some are just a front to steal your bank details. Always do thorough research before making a purchase at an unfamiliar online store, and look for things like page encryption and information about how they handle your personal data.
Use a Credit Card
Credit card payments, like Mastercard or Visa, are one of the safest ways to shop online. Almost all major credit card companies protect online purchases and will provide refunds if you don’t receive what you paid for. Also, using a credit card means your main bank account isn’t affected if your card details are stolen.
One of the great things about using credit cards like Mastercard is that they’re accepted by almost all Canadian businesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re grocery shopping, buying Christmas gifts for your friends, or ordering takeout; you can use your Mastercard. Canadians have even started to use Mastercard for other forms of entertainment, such as online casinos and sports betting, thanks to its convenience and security. If you’ve wanted to play at one of these sites but have wondered, “Do Canadian online casinos accept MasterCard?” you’ll be glad to know that almost all Canadian casinos are accepting Mastercard as a form of payment. When using a Mastercard to make their purchases, online shoppers can feel just that little bit safer.
Limit Your Personal Details
Another great way to ensure that you stay safe online is to limit the personal information you give to these sites. When completing your purchase, most online stores will ask for a range of details before you are prompted for your payment method. However, what these sites may not tell you is that not all of these fields are mandatory.
Look for boxes with an asterisk (*) next to them, as these are the ones that are mandatory for completing your purchase. If the box does not have one of these asterisks, you don’t need to give them that information, so it’s always best to be on the safe side and give them as little as possible.
Some online payment methods, such as e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill, will allow you to complete your purchase without having to make an account. By doing this, you drastically limit the information the online store has on you, making your details a lot safer.
Banking Methods Pros and Cons
In Canada, most online stores offer a range of banking methods to choose from. We’ve already covered how credit cards can keep you safe online, but what if you don’t have a credit card or prefer another method? To help you out, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the most common payment methods you can use in Canada.
This payment method includes companies like Visa and Mastercard. When you make a purchase with a debit card, you’re not borrowing money to do so, unlike with a credit card.
- Accepted at the majority of online stores.
- No fees as long as you stay within your agreed overdraft.
- Security measures such as two-factor authentication and encryption software.
- Debit cards offer limited fraud protection, and you may be on the hook for some of the losses if your card is stolen.
- You’re limited by the amount of money you have in your checking account.
- Using a debit card doesn’t build your credit score.
E-wallets include companies such as PayPal, Skrill, and MuchBetter. They’re digital wallets that can be independently funded or linked to an existing debit card or bank account.
- Most online stores do not charge fees for using e-wallets.
- Authentication is required to use your e-wallet, making them secure. They also offer other security measures, such as one-time passwords and encryption software.
- E-wallets are accepted at the majority of Canadian online stores.
- Some e-wallets cannot be linked to your bank account and must be topped up before use.
- Withdrawals from e-wallets to your bank account are often slow.
- You’re at risk of your account being frozen if you break the terms of service.
Yes, some Canadian online stores are now accepting cryptocurrency! Crypto is a fully peer-to-peer payment network, with the most notable examples being Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Fully decentralized, meaning that it does not rely on a central authority to approve transactions.
- Potential for anonymity, as personal details are not required when creating a crypto wallet.
- Always accessible, there are no worries about your account being frozen.
- The volatile nature of crypto means that prices change dramatically over time.
- If you make an error when sending your cryptocurrency, you cannot retrieve it.
- It’s not widely accepted at online stores in Canada compared to other payment methods.
No matter what online payment solution you want to use this winter, make sure to follow our helpful tips for staying safe online.