In a survey recently conducted by Mozilla in which about 30,000 participants were polled, it was discovered that about 90% of individuals using the internet have no idea of what it means to stay safe online.
If we can take that for a fact, it their means that even a lot more might not even know their way about protecting their online transactions thereby having them vulnerable to the attacks by financial cyber criminals.
With this in mind, it should be obvious that as much as shopping and banking transactions occur on a daily basis in their millions over the internet, the online fraud from cyber thugs would also be on the rise and the way to stay safe from such would involve knowing your way around basic online transaction security tips as would be discussed in this article.
Making sure you only purchase items from sites with SSL certificates is one of the most important things you should do.
What is SSL you might wonder? SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is security technology that encrypts the link between a web server (merchant site) and the browser (the user). If a site you are making purchases from doesn’t have SSL, a cybercriminal can easily steal your credit card information, thus it should be of paramount necessity to only purchase items from sites that have an SSL certificate installed.
How do you know if a website has SSL installed? That’s quite simple. When you visit a website, check the address bar. If the address is displayed in the format (https://www.example.com), take note of the “s” in “https” instead of just “http” and you find the padlock sign, green bar with text such as “Secure” next to the address, then it’s secured.
Otherwise do not give your credit card information to sites that are not secured for such transactions.
Using payment systems such as PayPal or Payeer when available is another recommendable course of action.
Most payment systems would usually stand in for customers when issues involving transfer of funds arise. If you purchase an item and make payment with your PayPal details, you can easily have your money refunded to you once you contact PayPal and it’s verified that you didn’t receive the item paid for. Platforms offering this type of transactions, such as available Paypal Casinos would usually let settle disputes between buyers and merchants and most times in favour of the buyer.
Talking about merchants, you should also make sure you buy only from trusted merchant sites. This fact can never be overemphasized. The ultimate hack to staying safe with your financial transactions online is to make purchases from reputable brands you’ve known over the years. Avoiding sites you really have no information about would definitely keep you in safe hands as far as I know.
Using a secure password and avoiding easy ones has been recommended ad nauseam. We still wonder why people would use “qwerty” or “password” as a password for sites they register on. While making registrations on any site, it is should of paramount importance that you use hard to guess password as most criminals know the go to terms internet users make use of. A combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols should always come to mind when creating a password for any site.
- Must Read: How To Create a Strong Password
To prevent phishing you should ignore emails asking for your credit card details from your bank.
If you receive a mail claiming to be from your financial institution asking for your full credit card information, then it’s obviously fraudulent and not from them. Banks would usually ask you of your details in part if they need to conduct any verification. Do not reply such mails as they are meant to steal your information.
Another tip that usually goes unnoticed is that your network should be safe; as such it is recommended to avoid public WiFi if possible. As much as we all love it when we use free Wi-Fi from the bar, it is very much advisable to avoid them if you really want to stay secured with your online transactions. The fact remains that, with the right skills, someone on the network can snoop through or even plant malicious programs on your machine that would spy on your activities. This brings us to the next point.
On the same tone, you should not use public computers for online transactions.
Avoid as much as possible to use a computer from a café for your internet monetary transactions. In fact, as I would always say, your personal computer (smartphone inclusive here) should be the only machine dedicated to making your online purchases. This would reduce to a great extent your exposure to fraud.
Also, using an anti-virus on your computer is a must do if you want to stay safe online. Most antiviruses would alert you when malicious contents/programs are detected on your computer. It is well advised that you keep your anti-virus up to date and scan your computer regularly. There are also free alternatives which are pretty good, like Bitdefender.
Taking advantage of the two-factor authentication should be a must these days; it is an added layer of security especially important when it comes to money transactions. In recent times, most online stores and sites have integrated the two-factor authentication to keep customers safe from hackers. You get to receive an SMS or a security token on your mobile before being able to log into your account. This is also one way to go to increase your security online
Finally, you can also contact your card issuer.
If you suspect your card details might have been compromised and used by someone else, best thing to do is contact your card issuer to disable the card and go for a new one while keeping in mind the above-mentioned security tips. Are there any tips you think we might have missed out on? Do let us know in the comment section below. We would like to hear from you.