Online banking is huge. That’s where we live now. We also live on our mobile phones, yet that is where 65% of banking fraud hits us. Phishing and malware attacks are adapting to the mobile experience, your phone is no longer a safe place to do business. For the longest time we would hold up our Apple iPhones and Google Android devices and say “this is more secure”, but that was just a pipe dream.
Most of us are living the struggle of making ends meet on a week to week basis. Wages have barely budged for decades yet the cost of living has exploded exponentially. The last thing we want to be worrying about is if there is a breach in our financial institutions, putting what little money we have at risk.
So enter services like Privacy.com, which strives to live up to its name. It uses the same security standards as banks (which is give or take these days) and lets you create a virtual debit card which you can use to purchase all the weird stuff you like to purchase online. You can set a spend limit (as if we have that kind of personal responsibility) or even set the card to be a one-time use card. As an added bonus, along with numerous other online banking institutions (but not being a bank itself), the Privacy.com VPC offers 1% cashback on most transactions and 5% cashback with select vendors. I know this sounds like a freaking commercial for a debit card, but Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t make it and this one is much more secure than the trash he’s peddling.
It should also be noted that Privacy.com is a free service that supports over 9,000 financial institutions. That means, yes, it won’t cost you anything extra to take one big step in protecting your online spending. Yes, you’ll have to enter your bank information to access the virtual payment cards. Yes, Privacy.com uses Plaid to facilitate the communication with your bank.
So what this all means is that if a merchant is breached (like, I dunno, Target), the only thing that is exposed to scammers is a set of scrambled numbers that has nothing to do with your actual bank account. You can also use any name and any billing address for further security. You can set up cards that just work with a single merchant, or for subscription services. Privacy.com has saved consumers over $100 million in fraudulent transactions (such as declines on cards that weren’t from the original vendor). Basically, it allows you to have one less thing to worry about when it comes to spending your hard-earned, but never held, cash online.