Identity theft is possibly the worst thing that can happen to you. Here some hacker uses your personal and financial information to rake in thousands of dollars without your knowledge. It can take you months to get out of the mess.
One way to defend yourself is to be very careful about your credit card information. The other is to use virtual credit cards. A virtual credit card is a prepaid card that functions like a real credit card. It can be used for shopping at websites, Internet shops and web stores where they accept payments with credit cards.
The Internet is generally a safe place to shop but there are always undesirables lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on some unknowledgeable Internet shopper. Using this type of credit card is one of the most practical ways to protect yourself from these shadowy figures.
A virtual credit card helps you to shop on the net with a throwaway credit card number that is single use and valid for a month or two. With a virtual credit card you can protect your credit card account from being tampered.
This is because hackers find it near impossible to tamper with your virtual credit card as you use a different card number each time you shop online. Even if the fraudster gets hold of your virtual credit card number, it will not be of much use to them as they expire quickly.
A virtual credit card is sent virtually via your e-mail address. You receive a 16-digit virtual credit card number along with a 3-digit security number. The processing is usually complete within one to four days after the company receives the payment.
One caveat is that you must utilize the credit amount within the required period. If you do not do so, the amount will expire as soon as the card expires. All well-known credit card companies provide virtual credit cards. The credit provided to you is limited to the amount for which you apply.
For additional security purposes, if your card is lost or stolen, you are protected, as you would be if you had a normal credit card.
There are some places where a virtual credit card might not work. For example, you might not be able to pick up theatre tickets, make car or hotel reservations or book hotels with virtual credit cards.
No card can guarantee that it will work for all merchants as there are millions of merchants using their own credit card acceptance policies. So even though you may have a balance in your account, there is a minute possibility that the card might be denied due to the policies followed by different merchants.
Despite the fact that a virtual credit card is comparatively safe, you must take certain precautions with its use. Do not share your card numbers with anyone. Do not store the card details in the computer or in your e-mail, especially if you share your machine with anyone. When you enter the card details online, you must ensure that the page is a secure page. If you are asking a website just for information, it is not necessary for you to put in your card details. If they ask for it, sign out immediately.
Virtual credit cards virtual credit card do offer some additional security benefits over traditional credit cards but proper use of your regular credit card should negate the need to apply for a virtual credit card.