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Avoid Credit Fraud when Booking Your Plane Tickets Online
Buying travel tickets online is no different from online shopping. Experts remind travelers that the risk of credit card fraud is always present. They strongly advocate for safe computing habits and considerable amounts of common sense. And these measures need to take effect from day one that travel plans are set in motion.
Safe Online Booking Tips for Your Vacation Travel Plans
Online booking of airline tickets is essentially online shopping. Internet security experts strongly recommend the adherence to the same measures to protect consumers from becoming victims of credit fraud. The rule of thumb is to trust only reputable service providers and to skip over too-attractive travel promo deals. Keeping this in mind, experts say, is the best way to prevent online booking fraud.
Credit card owners need to exercise great care when buying their plane tickets online. They can avoid online scam attempts by acknowledging that personal information is easily accessible these days. “We live in a digital age and consumers need to be more vigilant about … their personal information,” Financial Times said in a report.
Consumers can combat online fraud by proactively protecting their personal data while performing web-based business transactions. This is done by observing safe computing practices and taking steps “to ensure they use anti-virus software and a firewall for added protection,” said the same report.
On top of these basic safety tips, here are sure ways to enjoy credit protection when booking online travel deals.
If you must purchase plane tickets online, stick to credit cards.
Experts agree that credit cards offer more security than debit cards. Note that the latter is directly connected to a consumer’s bank account, which means any transaction automatically deducts an amount from the person’s bank account. Credit cards can also cushion the impact of a potential fraud. A required clearing-time of the previously transacted credits acts as a buffer for later disputes,according to Forbes.
In addition,CNN said in a report that, “the majority of credit cards offer purchase protection in case your card number is stolen, or if you make a payment at an online store that delivers a bad product, or no product at all.”
Prevent online fraud by beefing up your computer/online security.
The highest form of online protection is achieved by maintaining a secured computing machine, according to tech giant Microsoft. The company listed the following as the best defense against prevalent scams over the internet:
- Delete unsolicited emails. It is likely that they contain malware that could hijack PCs and pilfer personal data.
- Use strong passwords by combining alpha-numeric characters.
- Ignore phishing mails that ask for bank and credit account numbers. Contact your bank and credit providers for verification.
- Maximize the use of your browser’s security features. Turn them on at all times.
- Update your anti-virus everyday and schedule a scan at least once a week.
Take note that the above tips are equally useful for mobile computing using smartphone and tablet computers.
Surf on secured networks; visit established websites and download safe apps.
However safe your computing device is, it will amount to nothing if the network you connect with is unsecured. Limit your business transactions, which include online booking, to your home network and engage only with reputable providers. For mobile computing, stay on the safe side by downloading applications that were certified by major computing firms.
To quickly identify a credit card fraud, monitor your accounts.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the best way to do this is to regularly check your accounts for any unusual activity. If possible, activate your accounts’ fraud alert and credit freeze, which in essence notifies you of any unintended changes and halts all account activities, the U.S. publication added. These measures should tone down likely financial losses.
Stay on top of the situation.
You are protecting your own identity and money so stay in total control during the time you are processing an online booking. Citing tips from UK’s Financial Fraud Action, BBC reminded consumers to make sure they deal with the correct websites. Authenticity can be verified by checking that the site’s URL comes with a small lock icon and the address is preceded by ‘https’ (not the normal ‘http’).
Safe credit card payment is also ensured if consumers’ cards are registered on providers’ online security services, BBC said, adding that every transaction must be finished properly. This is done by logging out of the seller’s site once the sale is completed. Also, consumers are warned not to share credit card information with anyone on the phone unless they initiated the call.
Deal only with duly-sanctioned travel operators.
This serves as consumers’ extra-protection against online credit fraud,according to UK travel association ABTA. With an umbrella organization supervising a travel agency’s operations, consumers are assured of services that adhere to strict government codes, the travel group added. Such an arrangement provides a layer of security for travelers who are more inclined to purchase tickets from online sellers.
The chances of becoming a fraud victim are significantly diminished if consumers would pay careful attention to advice given by online security experts, BBC said.
Whatever your travel plans are for the holidays, make them worry-free by adequately securing all your online booking transactions.
Author Bio: Amy Johnson is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. She also covers topics on credit fraud and credit protection that can help people prevent themselves from identity theft & credit fraud.