How to safely apply for a credit card online

Use the following tips for extra security when applying for a credit card online.

Online applications can make it quick and easy to get a new credit card. You could even apply and get a response within minutes. Your bank likely has security measures to help keep applications secure. And there are things you can do to add extra protection too.   

Scammers and fraudsters are always looking for new ways to access your personal information online. Fortunately, along with the security measures that your bank has likely implemented, there are a few simple things you can do to help protect yourself.  

What to consider when applying for a credit card online 

For the card issuer to verify your identity and assess your application, you’ll likely need to submit some personal information when you apply for a credit card online. Here are four steps you can take to help keep your information safe: 

1. Use your own device

One way to help protect your data’s security when filling out a credit card application is to use your personal computer or phone. 

If you use someone else’s device, even if it’s a friend’s or a family member’s, you won’t know how good their security measures are. Even if they think their device is secure, it could have spyware installed on it that records what’s being entered. And if you apply on a public computer, you don’t know who accessed the computer before you. 

If you can’t use your own computer or mobile device, you could consider applying for a credit card in person or by mail or phone instead. 

2. Update your devices and use antivirus apps 

You can boost your safety by making the recommended updates on your devices’ operating systems and apps. New updates may include security patches that help keep you protected from the latest threats. These can be important even when you’re not applying for a credit card. 

Some devices have an option to automatically download and install updates. These can help you detect and stop potential malicious programs—known as malware—that can infect your computer and steal your information. 

3. Make sure the connection is secure

When you submit your credit card application, you’ll be sending your personal information over the internet. So it’s important to use a secure internet connection. If you’re using a public Wi-Fi connection, someone else might be able to see your personal information. Even a public Wi-Fi network that requires a password, like an airport’s or a coffee shop’s network, could be vulnerable. 

A virtual private network (VPN) creates a secure connection between your computer and the internet. If you’re not at home, a service that provides VPNs can help keep your information private. And if you’re at home, the Federal Trade Commission offers some tips on how to secure your network to help keep your internet activity safe from prying eyes. 

4. Check that you’re on the right website

Credit card issuers use strong encryption to keep your information safe. But you could run into trouble if you unknowingly apply on a look-alike site, also known as a spoof site. 

Here’s how that could work: A scammer could create a website that looks like a bank website and use it to collect your personal information. 

Some banks, like Capital One, have programs designed to detect spoofs when possible. And there are precautions you can take to make sure you’re at the correct website. That way you can be more confident your application is going to the right place.  

How Capital One helps protect your online credit card application information

Applying for a credit card online with Capital One? You’ll provide personal information including your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, physical address (not a P.O. box) and estimated gross annual income. 

To protect this information from unauthorized access and use, Capital One has an information security program that includes administrative, technical and physical measures. 

You can read more about Capital One’s commitment to security and how Capital One helps keep your identity safe. And you can email if:

  • You suspect a website or mobile app is pretending to be from Capital One.
  • You receive an email that claims to be from Capital One, but you are not sure or think it is suspicious.
  • You have reason to believe that your interaction with Capital One is no longer secure.

Stay safe and aware

If you apply for a credit card online, it’s a good idea to wait until you’re on your own device and a secure network. Plus, make sure you’re using the real credit card issuer’s website. By following these tips, you can help make applying for a credit card online even safer than it generally is.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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