As I mentioned in another article, I was recently the victim of hacking. Not by accessing any of my accounts directly, instead my personal information was illegally obtained from a website I shopped from. As a result of that hack, I spent weeks repairing the damage, recovering my stolen funds, and agonizing over the whole fiasco.
Thankfully, some good did come out of the mess I was in. At least I did learn something - several things, in fact. Now, in hopes that you will be able to avoid my awful hacking experience, I will share one of my favorite tips with you.
#1 - Don't Use Your Main Source of Cash
One of my mistakes was in using a debit card to make my purchase. Although I have frequently used a debit card when shopping online, I had not purchased from this particular site before. I never vouch for a website's security unless I've personally experienced it. So I was remiss in ignoring my own first rule since the debit card I used was linked to a checking account I frequently used.
Why avoid using a main source of funding when shopping online? Well, first let me specify what type of account I'm referring to: any debit card, online banking account (I.E. PayPal), or e-check linked with your most frequently used checking or savings account is bad idea. If a hacker is able to get your account information, he'll be able to drain everything you have, rather than only what you made available for one particular purchase.
Rather than using an account that is backed up with all of your money, use an account with limited funds. A credit card with a low limit is a good choice. You can also use PayPal - just make sure not to use your checking or savings account as a source of backup funding for that account, either. If you still prefer a debit card, rely on one like Serve, the prepaid debit card from American Express. I can personally attest to the convenience of that card. Another bonus in using one of these payment methods is that it is much easier to refute fraudulent charges.
Shopping online should be fun and stress-free. Use your payment method wisely so that you can truly relish the ease of shopping from home, rather than face the headache of recovering from hacking.