Online shopping: which payment methods are the safest and which ones are best avoided - ForumDaily
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Online shopping: which payment methods are the safest and which ones to avoid?

From credit and debit cards to digital wallets, peer-to-peer apps and bank transfers, sending money digitally has become the norm these days. This is convenient, but comes with its own risks, especially if you don't take proper safety precautions. And when it comes to choosing a specific payment method, not all options are the same in terms of reliability and security. Edition Lifehacker revealed which payment methods provide the most protection and which ones should be avoided. This is especially true on the eve of Black Friday, during which scammers strive to get your money.

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The most secure payment methods

Кредитные карты

Credit cards remain one of the safest ways to pay for purchases online. They have reliable protection against fraud on the part of the card issuer. If you monitor your statements and promptly report unauthorized charges, you are protected from liability. Use credit cards only on secure sites and never give out your full card number except on the checkout page for a purchase from a trusted merchant.


For peer-to-peer transactions or purchases on sites that accept PayPal, this service is a smart choice. It keeps your financial information private and, if you're sending money to strangers, provides protection against fraud. Link PayPal only to your credit card, not directly to your bank account. This will allow you to maintain all protections.

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Apple Pay/Google Pay

Making in-store purchases using contactless payment apps on your mobile device provides an added layer of security. Your actual credit card number is never shared with the merchant. You still get the convenience of clicking a button to pay, but with more privacy.

Gift cards

For occasional online or gaming purchases, you can purchase a gift card with a small balance and use it instead of a credit card. This effectively limits your liability if your card number is stolen. Just be sure to carefully check the site that uses it.

Riskier payment options

Debit cards

It's not that debit cards are "unsecure," it's that they don't have the same security as credit cards. The money comes directly from your checking account, making it more difficult to recover funds lost to fraud. Use your debit card only on trusted sites.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards, while more secure than debit cards, do not have the same strong fraud protection as credit cards. Only use them if you have no other options, and be careful when entering your card number online.

Bank transfers

Sending money directly from a bank account is very risky. Generally, bank transfers are not eligible for refunds and are not protected from fraud. This method should only be used to pay for the services of friends and trusted persons.

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Third Party Payment Applications

Venmo, CashApp, and other peer-to-peer payment apps are risky to use when communicating with strangers. Use them only when paying for the services of people you know well. And never return money that a stranger “accidentally” sent you on Venmo.

When it comes to fraud protection, credit cards and digital wallets like PayPal are the best choice for secure online and digital payments. Always use caution when sharing banking information with a merchant and do not use third-party payment apps when communicating with strangers. Remember: the risk depends not so much on the payment method itself, but on how you can protect yourself from scammers and other unscrupulous market participants.

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