Payment safety

Enhancing Security: Best Practices for Online Card Use

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The convenience of credit and debit cards makes it easy to use them online to make purchases. However, whether you’re signing up for services, grocery shopping, or updating your wardrobe, online transactions come with some risks.

tips for safe and secure online card use

Cybercriminals could steal your payment details and personal information, resulting in significant losses. In this guide, we’ll explore how to protect yourself online while enjoying the accessibility payment cards offer.

Are credit or debit cards safer?

Most people have access to a debit and credit card – with the two having different functions. Using your debit card means transactions come straight out of your bank account, while credit cards allow you to spend a pre-agreed amount and pay it off later.

While debit cards allow you to manage your money more effectively, credit cards have better safeguards against fraud, including:

  • Fraud Monitoring: Many credit card agencies have advanced fraud monitoring systems that flag suspicious payments.
  • Resolution Procedures: Both debit and credit cards have dispute resolution measures in place, but credit card companies are usually more effective at handling these disputes.
  • Bank Account Protection: If someone steals your credit card, their purchases won’t impact your bank account, which will protect your finances.

However, while card fraud decreased in Europe during 2021, it’s still a significant threat ( ECB ).

Whether you’re using a credit or debit card, you’ll need to protect yourself online and be aware of the threats.


Tips for safe and secure online card use

enhancing security best practices for online card use

Just because there are threats associated with online card use, it doesn’t mean you should avoid making transactions. Carrying cash around is also risky—especially for people in cities.

The following tips will keep you safe online and prevent the stress and anxiety of card fraud.

1: Know where you’re shopping

The great thing about online shopping is you can access international products and discover stores that align with your values. However, the internet is a vast network of products and services on demand—some aren’t all they seem.

To protect yourself from fraud, it’s essential to:

Do your research

Before buying from an online merchant, check if they’re reputable. You can do this by looking for online reviews from trusted sources. Both  Trustpilot  and Google can offer valuable information from previous customers, giving you peace of mind about the merchant.

Never shop through email

A huge discount landing in your inbox will always be tempting, but is it really from your favorite store? Phishing scams often replicate retailers, enticing you to click on their links. Check the URL thoroughly and visit the website directly to see if it’s a legitimate offer.

2: Shop in private

Public WiFi can provide access to the internet when you don’t have a connection, but you should never use it for transactions. Make sure you’re using your private connection when buying products to prevent people from getting hold of your information.

Using communal devices – even those in libraries and colleges – can put you at risk. If the devices automatically save your logins, people can access personal information from your email and social media accounts.

Ensure you log out of your accounts and don’t let the computer store your information. Most websites have a remember me checkbox, enabling people to access your details.

3: Choose secure payment methods

Just as credit cards offer more security than debit cards, modern payment methods can protect your personal information. Using them decreases your risk of card fraud without sacrificing convenience.


PayPal is a third-party payment solution that acts as an intermediary between your accounts and merchants. Making transactions through PayPal means the merchant won’t require your credit or debit card details.

However, if someone manages to access your account, they can use PayPal to make online transactions.

Third-Party digital wallets

Google Pay and Apple Pay are popular solutions for making transactions online. They use a tokenization process to protect personal information. Each time you make a payment, the wallet generates a one-off account number, adding an extra layer of security.

Virtual prepaid cards

Virtual prepaid cards are the most secure solution because they don’t link to your bank account. Instead, you top up the card and use it to make online and in-person transactions, ensuring nobody can access your personal information.

The Getsby Virtual Green Card lasts three years and is reloadable, while the Virtual Black Card is non-reloadable. It has a €500 load limit and up to 25 cards available monthly. Both offer unparalleled security and can help you manage your money more effectively.

4: Take control of your online spending

Online banking and credit card apps often have a spectrum of features you may not be aware of. Understanding how these features work and using them can help you reduce the risks of fraud and identify account discrepancies.

The most useful security features include:

  • Alerts: Account alerts are helpful as they detail transactions and can flag up ones you’re not making. Instead of going through your accounts, these alerts provide instant information.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: If someone manages to get your credit or debit card, two-factor authentication can prevent them from making online transactions. It works by sending a passcode to your email address or mobile device.

Go through your subscriptions regularly

Most people have multiple subscriptions, and monitoring them is no easy feat. Unfortunately, you might be paying for someone else’s Netflix entertainment and not even know about it.

Going through your accounts regularly can help you keep track of your payments and identify unauthorized subscriptions.


The bottom line

Online card use will always come with its risks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the accessibility of shopping online. With a range of security measures available, you can protect your personal information and minimise the risks of card fraud.

For maximum security, Getsby Virtual Cards give you control over your spending. You don’t need to link them to your bank accounts, and you can load up your card using a range of payment methods.

With no credit checks, Getsby cards are highly accessible and opening your account takes minutes.

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