Ever since the internet revolution has happened, everything can be done at our fingertips. Be it entertainment, education, and online shopping. As per the data, more than 4.6 billion people use the internet for endless purposes, but the big question is whether the security of these 4.6 billion internet users is guaranteed.
The major security concern arises during online shopping, buying daily needs items while sitting inside your home in comfy pyjamas. We pay for online shopping through our credit cards or wire transfer while connected to the internet, which can easily be hacked by professional hackers.
This is seriously a big concern as in the past few months we have seen dozens of articles about personal data being sold on the darknet, and all of this happens because we don’t give much attention to online security.
So today, we will be educating you with 5 important tips that’d help you to make your next online payment securely. Curious? Let’s move forward.
Tip #1 Use Credit Cards rather than Debit Cards
Credit cards may be difficult to manage at times but are better than debit cards when it comes to online shopping. Why? Let’s have a closer look.
Suppose you have $20k in your bank account, and your card details have been exposed. The hacker will be able to utilize the entire account balance but credit cards usually have a spending limit, say, $5k, so even if your card details are exposed you won’t be at a huge loss, and you can visit your card issuer to claim a chargeback, and also disable the card.
Although both cases are risky, still, credit cards are way better than debit cards for online shopping, and recurring payments.
Tip – If your banking app supports this feature, then turn off transactions when your card is not in use, even if anyone tries to use it, payments will fail and you will be notified.
Tip #2 Encrypt your Internet Connection
If you prefer online transactions even when you are shopping from a store, make sure you are on an encrypted network. Why? Because open networks are prone to cyber-attacks and have vulnerable security weaknesses. Since you cannot do anything about this, the best way to tackle this problem is by installing a VPN on your device. If you didn’t get me, here’s an example.
Suppose you live in Brazil, connected to an open network in a supermarket, about to pay bills digitally, but want to stay anonymous and secured during the process. In this case, you can use a USA VPN and change your location to the USA, virtually. In this way, you can do your transactions on the internet without worrying about your privacy and security.
Tip #3 Use a Strong transaction password
Since we all have a habit to forget passwords, we often use passwords that are comprised of sensitive details such as date of birth, first and last name, wife’s name, and so on. Since a hacker can easily access this information, the chances of getting your accounts exposed are high.
Therefore, we recommend you to use strong passwords that should have at least one capital letter, one special symbol, one number, and the first letter should not be capital as it is easy to guess.
If that’s too difficult for you to remember, use a password manager that is reliable.
Tip #4 Use Authorized sites for Shopping
Sometimes a scam site may attract you with hefty discounts and promos, which is just a trick to get your banking details. Therefore, you should keep checking while purchasing anything online.
Tips to check whether the site is legitimate or not:
- Google it – How? That’s easy. Open google, and type <store/site name> + review. You will get tons of sources where people have given a genuine review of the site, mostly on Reddit, Quora, or ask me. If you don’t find any of them, then you must avoid purchasing anything from that site.
- SSL – SSL helps in keeping the data you enter on the site secure. If the site does not have an SSL certificate, the chances of data mishandling are high. Prevent online shopping from sites that do not even have an SSL.
- Social media presence – A site that wants to be in the business for the long term will definitely have social media presence, but if the one you are shopping from does not even have a contact form, then think again before purchasing.
Tip #5 Use an Antivirus
Almost every cybersecurity guide gives this tip, but why? The answer is simple, viruses spread extremely fast from computer to computer. Some viruses silently install in your system and steal important information. This can be stopped by keeping the anti-virus software turned on.
Secondly, install a data meter and place it on your taskbar. A sudden spike in data usage will help you to easily notice it, and find out what’s consuming so much data.
Cybersecurity plays an important role for every citizen on the internet, as we all are connected to the online world in one way or another. In this article, we shared 5 tips that you must follow while doing online payments, as chances of data theft are higher when it comes to online payments.