A new online payment service, which launched earlier this week, hopes to curb online shopping fraud by doing away with the need to share your credit card number just to buy something.
Privacy.com is creating virtual debit cards for online transactions for anyone who signs up for the service. The free app, which Credit.com reported on last fall, is now available for Apple iOS and Google Chrome.
“Credit card breaches are growing at an alarming rate and real people are getting hurt,” said Bo Jiang, CEO and Founder of Privacy, 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 an online bank account. There is no pre-loading of funds required and the service can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. Once downloaded, a browser extension enables you to create burner card numbers when you go to check out on shopping websites. The funds are then withdrawn from the linked bank account.
The service uses two-factor authentication, an extra layer of security that requires not only a password and username but also something that only that user has on them, such as a physical token.
Prospective Privacy.com users can sign up on the company website. Keep in mind, you’ll have 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 website.
Remember, some banks also give cardholders the option to create virtual card numbers to increase security while shopping online, so you may want to look into these options, too, 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 you don’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 can spot sudden, unexpected changes in your free credit report summary, which is updated every month on Credit.com. Here’s what to do if you find you are a victim of identity theft.
More on Identity Theft:
- Identity Theft: What You Need to Know
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- 3 Dumb Things You Can Do With Email