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Disposable or virtual credit card numbers are meant to prevent hackers or dishonest merchants from stealing your credit card information. It is a temporary number used to make a single purchase. This way, details of your existing account can remain private. You can get a virtual number using an online service provided by the credit card issuer or through a digital wallet.

Where to get a disposable credit card number

Most credit cards can generate a disposable card number as long as it is compatible with a digital wallet. The wallet then sends a token to the merchant instead of your actual account number.

You can also use a number generated by your credit card company. However, only two banks offer this service, which is Capital One and Citi bank. These card issuers can generate a virtual number for a few select cards though more steps are involved.

How to ensure safety while shopping online

Online shopping with a credit card can be risky, especially with hackers and dishonest sellers. For this reason, knowing how to protect yourself is essential.

One way to protect yourself is to update your malware protection software and passwords regularly to make sure that no hacker can get access to your account.

Never shop on a public computer. Hackers could have placed malware on the computer to collect credit card numbers. If you don’t have a private one, use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you load into an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

Whenever you can, try not to use your actual credit card number. Use a digital wallet instead to get a one-time token that will prevent any hacker from retrieving your credit card information.

Two-factor verification is vital for your security. It will require you to respond to a message on your phone or an email before accessing your account online. 

Another way is to avoid clicking on a link attached to an email even when you think it comes from a trusted source. It can be an attempt to get your credit card information.

Regularly review your credit card statements to check for foreign transactions. If you do find one, you could freeze your account.