It seems like we’re giving out our card information so much these days. Most of us couldn’t even list off all the sites that we’ve given our precious numbers to. So how do we keep all this craziness under control?
The best thing we can do, short of not using credit cards online at all, is be stingy with our card information. Give it to as few sites as possible. The fewer companies that have our information, the better. Ideally, we would only want to give it out once, then funnel all our transactions through that single entity.
Fortunately, this is more of a possibility than you might guess. Lots of retailers nowadays offer the option of transacting through PayPal instead of going through their own e-commerce system. If you choose to pay with PayPal, the retailer never sees your card information. Instead, they request the funds from PayPal, which in turn removes the funds from your bank account and gives it to them. And the whole process is under your control, requiring that you log in to PayPal before the transaction can be made.
PayPal is like a gatekeeper for your bank account
And to top it off, it’s completely free for you to make purchases. The retailer is the one who pays the fees to PayPal for the secure transaction. And of course, there are added benefits, like Purchase Protection that reimburses you for a qualifying item if you never receive it.
So are there any risks? Of course, as always. PayPal can never be perfectly secure, as no system ever is. But would you rather have lots of imperfect systems in possession of your information, or just a few?