Most online shoppers do it for convenience, but is it safe?
Shopping from your couch in your pajamas might seem safer and more relaxing than fighting crowds and mall parking lots, but it can leave your credit information vulnerable.
Two out of three online shoppers — or 94 million people — said they have their credit information saved on at least one website, according to a poll from CreditCards.com, a credit card advice website. Of those who shop online, older generations are more likely to save their data for future purchases.
“For online consumers, there’s a trade-off: The more you store your payment info in a variety of places, the greater your odds of being a victim of fraud,” FICO senior marketing manager Alex Johnson told the site. “But saving your information offers a definite advantage in terms of convenience, because you don’t have to have your card on hand to make a purchase.”
Although older shoppers are less likely to use the internet, those who do are more likely to keep their data saved on multiple websites.
The Silent Generation — born between 1925 and 1945 — are twice as likely as other age groups to store their data, with about 1 in 5 of those age 72 or older reporting they always save their payment information, according to the poll. Over half of them save their information on at least one website.
Baby boomers and Generation Xers are more guarded, with only 6 to 7 percent saying they always store their information online, and more than 40 percent saying they never do.
Millennials make up the bulk of online shoppers. Three in four say they shop online, compared to one in four from the Silent Generation.
Jean Twenge, a psychologist who studies generational differences, says the Silent Generation tends to be more trusting than younger age groups, but convenience is another major factor. “It’s going to be harder for them to remember their card numbers,” she told CreditCards.com. “And they don’t want to have to get up and get their wallet, which can be an undertaking when you’re a senior.”
Although the convenience is appealing, saving credit card information isn’t the best way to prevent credit card theft. Your safest bet to prevent fraud is to type in your card information for every single transaction. If you save your card information, anyone who has access to your computer or account will be able to make a purchase with just a click or two.
If you do choose to store your card information, make sure you use a credit card – not a debit card. Credit cards have greater liability protection.
Another interesting finding: Midwesterners are more likely to save their credit card information than Southerners, the study found. Sixty-eight percent of the latter group said they rarely or never save their credit information online. College grads also shop online twice as much as those without a college degree, and the same is true for people making over $75,000 a year compared to people making less than $30,000.
Article last modified on July 10, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .