What about using credit cards to pay online? How safe is that?

With billions of dollars in online purchases every year and low fraud rates, credit cards are generally a safe way to pay online, but there are ways to make them safer. Firstly, use safe Internet security practices to make sure you are at the site you want and that you have a secure Internet connection. Also, never enter credit card or personal banking or investment account information on a computer that is not currently protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

It’s also probably not a good idea to enter credit card or personal banking or investment account information from a public hotspot.

Some card issuers and retailers offer PIN code protection for online purchases. Branded as Verified By Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, this optional feature gives you PIN protection when paying online. It’s easy to use. You just register your card and set up your PIN. After that, anytime you buy something online you have to enter your PIN code, giving you the same sort of dual factor protection you have on your ATM card. Although not all online retailers support it, a lot of big ones do.