How to shop online without sharing your credit card number

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A new online payment service hopes to fight online shopping fraud by removing the need to share your credit card number just to buy something.

Privacy.com creates virtual debit cards for online transactions for anyone who signs up for the service. The free app, which Credit.com reported last fall, is now available for Apple iOS and Google Chrome.

“Credit card breaches are increasing at an alarming rate and real people are being hurt,” Bo Jiang, CEO and founder of Privacy, said in a press release. “We minimize your risk of fraud and identity theft by creating virtual burner cards. “

Here’s an overview of how the app works: users download the software, register, and link a bank account online. No pre-load of funds is required and the service can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. Once downloaded, a browser extension allows you to create burner card numbers when you checkout at merchant sites. The funds are then withdrawn from the linked bank account.

The service uses two-factor authentication, an additional layer of security that requires not only a password and username, but also something that only that user has, such as a physical token.

Potential users of Privacy.com can register on the company’s website. Remember that you will need to enter personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, and checking account information, to get and use the app. You can find more information about Privacy.com’s security protocols on the company’s website.

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Keep in mind that some banks also offer cardholders the option of creating virtual card numbers to increase security while online shopping, so you may also want to consider these options if you are interested in increased online card security.

And, if you think your credit card or personal information has been compromised, or even if it hasn’t, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is to regularly check your statements and your credit for signs of fraud. You may spot sudden and unexpected changes in your Free credit report summary, which is updated monthly on Credit.com. Here’s what to do if you find yourself a victim of identity theft.

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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.


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