Online Transactions

SteveE

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
22
Lafayette, IN
#1
Hi All,

I started to reply to a thread, where someone had mentioned being cautious about online transactions, but I thought this may be a better place to mention it.

Speaking from experience, having someone get your credit card number is no fun! It happened to us 7 or 8 years ago - I hope it never happens again!

But I wanted to mention what MAY sound like a paid endorsement - I assure you it's not! I have no affiliation with Citibank, but I did want to share what I think is a great feature.

I received a Citibank credit card, and it includes an optional feature called Virtual Account Numbers. Basically, you download a small application file, and whenever you go online for a transaction, it will generate a 1-time use virtual credit card number! It's only good for 1 business, and only for 1 transaction - so if anyone hacks that number it does them no good at all.

Even though I've been cautious since having trouble in the past, this free feature has really eliminated my concerns about suffering a repeat.

I think it's the safest on-line mechanism I've experienced.

Now I hope that nobody replies about some security flaw I haven't heard about :eek:
 

Backglass

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2007
146
Putnam County, NY
#2
You run a MUCH greater risk handing your credit card to your waiter/waitress/bartender than you do online.

FWIW, I have purchased goods over the internet for over a decade and never had a card number stolen. I have however had my card numbers stolen twice from gas stations.
 

Siamese

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
87
Chicago, IL
#3
I agree 100% with Backglass. I work as the privacy officer for a large global bank (not Citibank). The banking industry has found that most cases of identity theft are not caused by online transactions or the security breaches you read about in the paper. They're generally caused by the waiter/waitress/gas station attendant. the live in adult child/grandchild or the person rummaging through your trash.

While the Citibank product is a neat idea, and it can't hurt, I don't think it's the magic bullet. The best defense is to review and reconcile your bank statements and to alert your bank at the first sign of trouble. The banks typically bear the costs of any fraud and make the consumer whole.
 

SteveE

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
22
Lafayette, IN
#4
I also agree - online transactions are generally safer. It's like the flying vs driving debate. Some people are afraid to get on an airplane because they are afraid of an accident, even though they are MUCH more likely to be in a car crash on the way to the airport!