Ten tips to ensure that you have secure online transactions.
Online transactions today are increasingly becoming famous and impressive as it’s the only way to purchase goods and services without necessarily moving around. Be it booking airfare, e-commerce transaction, or have any other online service, online transactions are very much convenient and saves time. But there is the fear of losing sensitive information to the third party.
Hackers and third party websites can actively steal user’s information without your consent. World Wide Web is full of spam, ransomware, malware, and spyware as well. And when you take an online transaction,it is likely to encounter these attacks.
But prevention is better than cure. Right! Taking some precautionary actions can minimize or do away with any fraudulent transaction. Let’s discuss 10 tips that will ensure you have safe online deals.
- Check for statements
If you are that person who waits for the bills and statements to come at the end of the month, you need to rethink about it. Always find time to go online regularly and have a look at electronic statements regarding your debit card, credit card and counter checking your accounts as well. At this point, you can easily spot a fraudulent transaction that has taken place. If indeed you sport something wrong, you can call your bank to address the matter as soon as possible. You will get your money back; however, you are reliable for all charges involved.
- Use better and stronger passwords
Websites are all password-driven, where a combination of your password characters matters. Choosing your password decides whether you can access your data, buy and sell online, or communicate with your friends securely. Choosing a secure password that is uncrackable guarantees a safer environment for online banking and shopping online.
The password should be different for every site with strong characters ranging from 4 to 20 characters. When you tend to use the same password all over, it will be cracked at once making it very easy for your information to be accessed. Therefore, avoid common passwords and use passwords that are unpredictable to anyone.
- Let public terminals be your last option
It’s not bad to use a public computer to do online transactions, but it’s not entirely safe for your personal information. Always remember to log out every time you access your account using a public terminal.
Also, don’t go shopping with your laptop anywhere when you are out and connected to a public wi-fi. You can easily hand over your card information to snoopers sitting around using the same wi-fi hotspot. Make sure you get connected to a public wi-fi hotspot using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data.
- Keeping your computer up-to-date
Regardless of what you use your personal computer for, having security software for it is not an option. So, when doing online transaction make sure that your firewall is turned on and at the same time running antivirus software to protect you against trojan, ransomware and other types of malware.
You should also keep your operating system and other security programs up-to-date to protect yourself against insecurities securely. This way, you will keep off all intruders looking for means to access your financial data.
- Avoid spam emails
If you receive an email appearing to come from your bank asking you to provide login particulars, just ignore it and report as spam to your email customer support. No bank will ever send you emails asking for your login information. In fact, they send you an SMS to visit your nearest branch.
Likewise, avoid clicking links attached in email appearing to be from your bank. That is a trick used by hackers to get you into websites resembling your bank website. And once you try to log in, they steal your username alongside its password and use it to cash out from your account. Always type the address to access your online bank directly to your browser.
- Check for encryption sign
Before you try to enter any sensitive information on any website you visit, always check whether the website is using proper encryption. Only log in to those sites with proper security measures to protect your data traveling over various networks. The primary sign for a well-encrypted web page is checking its URL address. Usually, a URL starting with https:// is encrypted since the ‘s’ shows the website is using SSL. Those websites that are not encrypted lack an‘s’ in their URL address and start with http://.
- Counter check the website’s digital certification
Counter checking digital certificates that authenticate a site is very crucial. Before you conduct any transaction from online merchant and retailer website, ensure they have the permit to deliver their services. You can check their authentication from independent service providers who are the most popular towards providing help to users who want to know whether their websites are genuine or it’s just fraudulent imposters.
Note that there exist many websites looking the same as your genuine website. Countercheck the presence of their digital certification to avoid being caught offside.
- Buy and sell from reputed online shops
The online transaction from well-reputed shops and other e-commerce platforms give credit towards you security not compromised in any way. Uprising merchants may not have enough security mechanism put in place to protect your personal information today and in future. There is no need to transact with merchants who you are not familiar with.
Always be in a position to check the seller’s privacy if you decide to transact from least popular businesses. Some of them can quickly sell your personal information like cell numbers causing leakage of sensitive data. Also, check the confirmation email whenever a transaction is completed.
If you conduct online transactions while surfing from a public wi-fi, you should consider strongly encrypting your security to protect your data and privacy. Using public wi-fi, it’s like having a naked conversation in a public place. Someone spying can efficiently collect your usernames and password or any other private information.
So if you’re making an online purchase at your favorite coffee shop using your PC or tablets make sure that your connection is using an encrypted channel. Seeking services for virtual private network providers is the best option to encrypt your connection. This way, you can have internet access wherever and whenever you need it from a public network.
- Do away with spam promotions
In some countries, scammed promotions are quite a challenge. People receive SMS and emails appearing to be from their online shops, but they are scams. Most of these promotional messages don’t have any mechanisms to unsubscribe.
Spammers are taking advantage of marketing automation to trick users to their canny scams. Make sure that your internet provider hosts a recipient’s email server to filter and raise a red flag to those emails that their IP addresses are untrustworthy. And if it manages to end up in your inbox, mark it as spam if you find the promotion message being irrelevant and irritating.
Taking these tips will help to maintain your transactions being secure. But most importantly, if you suspect your personal information has been used to transact without your permission, notify the relevant agencies to place a fraud alert.
Above all else, if you have any doubts or questions about your online transaction activities contact your merchants and bank respectively with a phone call immediately.