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Is DHgate Safe for Credit Cards? Tips for Shopping at DHgate Securely

Ashley Ferraro, Product
May 14, 2024
 Min Read
Protect Your Payments With Virtual Cards

Founded in 2004, DHgate has established itself as a reputable global e-commerce wholesale marketplace. As of December 2022, it has over 59.6 million active customers from 225 countries. Currently, it boasts more than 22 million live product listings.

Still, even with the platform's growing popularity, users still wonder, "Is DHgate safe for credit cards?" This article offers a comprehensive answer to this and several other related questions, such as:

  • What are some of the common security concerns for DHgate shoppers?
  • Which measures does DHgate use to protect user data?
  • How can you safeguard your financial data on DHgate?
Hands coming out of computer screens facing each other, with a credit card in one hand and a shopping bag in another
Source: Mediamodifier

Is It Safe to Use Your Credit Card on DHgate

The short answer is—yes, it is generally safe to use a credit card on DHgate. The platform has invested heavily in safeguarding the integrity and privacy of its users' data. But, like every other online merchant, it does not guarantee 100% safety against data breaches.

Which Measures Does DHgate Use To Protect User Data?

DHgate has a comprehensive cybersecurity and online shopping protection strategy. Below are some of the security measures it employs to safeguard user data:

Cybersecurity Measure How it Works
Industry-standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Encryption It secures communications between DHgate servers and shoppers' devices to prevent unauthorized interceptions.
Optional Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) It offers an additional protection layer by ensuring hackers with stolen credentials can't access user details if they don't have the verification device (typically your phone or tablet).
Regular Vulnerability Assessments It conducts regular system audits to identify and eliminate potential threats before they become serious issues.
Real-Time Threat Monitoring  It monitors its systems round-the-clock to identify discrepancies in shoppers' purchase patterns that might signify potential breaches.
User Empowerment  It offers up-to-date guides on emerging online shopping security threats to enable users to identify and avert them.
Data Access Control It enhances security by limiting the access of sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII) to a few authorized personnel.
An illustration of a fishing hook carrying user login credentials out of a laptop screen
Source: Mohamed_hassan

What Are Some Common Security Concerns for DHgate Shoppers?

Potential threats users should be wary of when shopping at DHgate include:

  1. Phishing attacks
  2. Malware infections
  3. Fraudulent sellers or buyers

Phishing Attacks

Studies show that over 90% of all cyberattacks begin as phishing attempts. A typical phishing scam involves malicious cyber actors cloning trusted email addresses, websites, or phone numbers to deceive unsuspecting consumers into sharing their financial or personal information.

For example, a DHgate credit card scam may involve a cyber attacker sending you an email from asking you to update your credit card credentials for a recent payment. These fake email addresses are often very similar to the legit ones, and if you happen to be in a hurry, you may not notice the extra letter "r" in the spoofed address. You might click on malicious links embedded in the email, open a cloned DHgate website, and unknowingly share your credit card credentials with the cybercriminals.

An image of a screen showing graphs, with "Access Denied" written across the center
Source: Elchinator

Malware Infections 

Malware is malicious software that hackers use to disrupt operations or gain access to sensitive information. It is often a part of phishing scams, where attackers attempt to introduce malware into user devices. 

For example, a cyber attacker might send you an order confirmation link supposedly from DHgate. When you open this link, your device will automatically download and install malware that encrypts your device and steals your financial and personal information.

The most common malware DHgate shoppers are likely to encounter as victims of phishing are Spyware and Keyloggers:

  • Spyware is an invisible software that gathers information on all your online activities and sends the collected data to hackers. 
  • Keyloggers are a type of spyware that captures every keystroke you type, which may include your password, login details, and credit card numbers.

Fraudulent Sellers

Sometimes, cybercriminals may be other DHgate sellers. When scammers realize you've taken all the necessary measures to keep your credit card info safe on DHgate, they may try to tempt you with irresistible off-platform deals. If their offer seems too good to be true, it may be that the seller is:

  • Trying to trick you into divulging your credit card information
  • Selling you a non-existent product
  • Planning to scam you with hidden charges like additional shipping fees that were not visible on the original DHgate post

The Financial Impact of Credit Card Fraud

In most cases, you will not be responsible for the losses from credit card fraud as credit card users are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). According to this regulation, a credit cardholder who reports unauthorized charges within 60 days will have a limited liability of $50. To qualify for this protection:

  • The charge must be above $50
  • The purchase must be made by an unauthorized person

Being a victim of credit card fraud can also affect your credit score. Unauthorized charges from these scams often lead to steep bills, and the increase in your credit card balance can reduce your credit rating. Even though you might be able to reverse this damage if you act quickly, the process may take some time.

How Can You Safeguard Your Financial Data on DHgate?

While DHgate has several measures to safeguard user data, you still have to be responsible for your credit card security. According to a 2023 Havard Business Review study, human error accounts for over 80% of all cyber incidents. One of the most crucial steps in enhancing your DHgate credit card safety is being cyber-aware and cautious.

Below are a few ways to safeguard your financial data when shopping at DHgate:

Cyber Attack Vector Mitigation Measures
Phishing Attacks
  • Verify email addresses before taking any action.

  • Hover over links in emails to identify where they lead before clicking.

  • Ensure sites' URLs begin with "https" before submitting your credit card information.

Malware Infections 
  • Install anti-malware.

  • Do not click unknown links or images.

Fraudulent Sellers
  • Decline invitations to complete transactions outside DHgate.

  • Set transaction limits on your credit cards.

  • Use 2FA for payment verification.

  • Pay with virtual cards.

Privacy Virtual Cards—Take Your Online Shopping Security a Notch Higher 

While credit cards may seem safer to use due to their liability rules, many debit card issuers have such regulations as well. For example, Chase®, Bank of America®, and Wells Fargo® have zero liability policies for both debit and credit card customers. 

Debit card users are also protected by the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), which limits the liability of those scammed during online transactions to $50. 

When using debit cards, you can also add an extra layer of protection by linking them to Privacy and using their virtual cards. Privacy Virtual Cards mask your information at checkout with unique card numbers, meaning that hackers can't access your sensitive credentials even if they compromise the platform's servers.

Privacy also has robust security features, including:

Data at Rest Data in Transit
  • Split-key encryption with partial keys secretly stored by different employees

  • Hashing of passwords using PBKDF2 with 100k iterations to safeguard against rainbow table attacks

  • Holding client information in single-tenant hardware in private networks

  • Hosting the storage networks in at least three secret geographic locations 

  • Deploying Transport Layer Security (TLS) HSTS for all web traffic

  • Using Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) with AES-256 to safeguard inter-data center communication

Besides securing your transactions, Privacy allows you to create and manage virtual cards on the go via the Android or iOS mobile app. If you also choose to install the Privacy Browser Extension, you can use it to autofill card details at checkout on Safari, Chrome, Safari for iOS, Firefox, and Edge

A close-up image of a hand cursor placed over the word "Security"
Source: Pixabay

Privacy Virtual Card Types and Security Features

When signing up for Privacy, you can create either Single-Use or Merchant-Locked Cards:

  1. The Single-Use Card closes shortly after completing the first transaction, making it ideal for unfamiliar websites. Because the card closes automatically after funding its intended transaction, hackers cannot use it even if they somehow obtain it. 
  2. The second option, the Merchant-Locked Card, can be used several times, but only with one merchant. This card type is ideal for recurring payments such as subscriptions. Since the card is locked to a singlemerchant, hackers can't use it elsewhere.

Regardless of which option you choose, they both allow you to:

  • Set spending limits to manage your spending and reduce the risk of being overcharged by merchants
  • Pause and close virtual cards to avoid unexpected charges, which can be helpful if you're in the process of canceling a subscription

How To Get Privacy Virtual Cards

To create a Privacy account and kick-start your safe online shopping experience, follow these four steps:

  1. Sign up
  2. Enter the details needed to verify your identity
  3. Add a funding source (bank account or debit card)
  4. Request Privacy Virtual Cards

Privacy has three plans, which you can review below:

  1. The Personal plan offers free domestic purchases and access to 12 virtual cards per month, card pausing and closing features, spending limits, the browser extension, and the phone app. 
  2. The Pro plan includes additional features like zero foreign transaction fees, priority support, 1% cashback on specific purchases (maximum of $4,500 per month), 36 monthly virtual cards, and the ability to mask transaction details on your bank statements. 
  3. The Premium plan includes 60 monthly virtual cards, plus everything in the first two subscriptions.

Privacy is available to U.S. residents over 18, and you can use Privacy Cards at most merchants that accept Visa® and Mastercard® payments.

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
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