Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape

There’s a Jim Croce song where the chorus says:

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

It’s referring to the no brainer things that people should never do. The song reminds me of some of the similarly ‘no brainer’ things that people should avoid doing that leads to fraud and identity theft. For example, if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from your credit card company and they need to verify your account, don’t give out any personal information such as a social security number or credit card number. Instead, hang up and call the company’s number on the back of your credit card to see if they were really trying to contact you. Likewise, any e-mail claiming to be from your bank that validates your info by having you click a link and log in is almost certainly a ‘phishing scam’. Someone is trying to obtain your account information. Thankfully, many of us are wise to these types of ploys (RSA’s 2010 survey indicates that 76 percent of consumers are aware of phishing threats.)

I like to play it safe, especially online. If possible, I opt out of features that save my credit card information when I check out. It’s not necessarily that I don’t trust the merchant; I just don’t trust that they have the best security features in place. So I have to reenter my card when I visit next time? Big deal! It is worth the peace of mind to me.

Last week, I mentioned how you should accept as many payment types as possible, since shoppers may have a preference. Besides preferring certain credit cards based upon personal versus business purchases, I also sometime prefer to pay using PayPal or Google Checkout. If I am shopping at a merchant that I am not familiar with, I will always choose PayPal or Google Checkout if the merchant offers one of those payment options. It is comforting to go to PayPal and sign in to complete my purchase. I know PayPal even if I don’t know this merchant. I also know that, because I’m using PayPal, the merchant will not have access to my credit card information. And, as an added bonus, I don’t have to reenter shipping or payment info.

I understand that, because I’m in the eCommerce industry, I’m probably a little more savvy than the average shopper. But, just like more people now know to not click on login links from e-mails, we may see more shoppers being particular about how they choose to pay. So, for your peace of mind on not losing sales because of restricting a shopper’s payment options, give them choices! After all, it’s a no brainer.

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