A little paranoia when it comes to signing up for services online can go a long way: it’s healthy to be perpetually suspicious of the words “free trial” followed by a prompt for your credit card information. Times have changed, though, as now there’s a free app called Privacy that can provide you with a single-use credit card number and ironclad protection for all online transactions.
How can you use Privacy to keep your financial information safe, and how does the app work exactly? We have the answers to make you a bonafide Privacy expert in minutes!
How does Privacy work?
Privacy’s pitch is simple:
The virtual cards you create with Privacy are fully customizable. You can set specific limits for what they can be charged and how often they can be charged as well as easily close any cards at any time. If a card with a limit is charged an amount over its limit, the transaction will simply be declined. It’s also easy to generate a single-use credit card number that will automatically close itself after being used.
An optional browser extension for Privacy even creates and autofills card numbers for you at the checkout so that you never have to memorize a temporary virtual card number or go out of your way to log in to the site and create a card. Privacy also offers a Pro version of their service which allows you to create more virtual cards than the free version and also get 1 percent cash back on virtual card purchases.
How to use Privacy
To get started, head to the Privacy site, sign up for an account, and link your bank account. Once your basic housekeeping is out of the way, you’ll be brought to your Privacy dashboard where you can get started.
Once you’re at the dashboard, click the “New Card” field next to “Cards” at the middle left of your screen. From here, it will only take you a single click to generate a new card.
You may want to consider giving your virtual card a nickname related to its intended purpose to keep things organized. From the “New Card” screen, you can also quickly set a spend limit for your virtual card. Once your card has been created, it’s ready to be used. Simply input the relevant card information during checkout, and your new virtual card will be charged.
If you’d like to download Privacy to your phone, there are both iOS and Android versions available for download. Additionally, Privacy’s Google Chrome browser extension can be installed with a single click.
Fortunately, if you do experience credit or debit card fraud, all is not lost. There are many things you can do to mitigate the damage. We have the definitive guide for what to do if you experience fraud.