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How To Secure Online Transactions: 5 Simple Steps

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Online transactions make it possible to pay for your bills, buy movie tickets, shop online as well as transfer money right from the comfort of your home. However, such transactions are also frequently targeted by hackers and criminals since they provide direct access to credit card and bank login information. Considering that you could lose thousands of dollars or get involved in a serious fraud simply by losing your financial information, it is very important to learn how to keep your online transactions safe from security attacks. This article will list down few tips on how to keep your internet transactions safe and secure.

Step 1: Basic Security Measures
You can protect yourself from a majority of financial frauds if you follow some basic security measures. Have a strong anti-virus and firewall on your device so that you do not become a victim of malware, trojans or phishing attacks. Speaking of phishing, you must avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails or calling toll free numbers to update your banking information. Do not use weak passwords that could be cracked merely by looking at your social profile on Facebook. Also, remember not to save your bank login information in browsers or apps (especially on shared devices) and make it a point to log out, close the browser (or app) and delete cookies as soon as your transaction is done.

Step 2: Reputation Matters
You should always shop from reputed ecommerce websites and use reliable payment processors to pay for the services or goods. Most big merchants and payment processors have strong anti-fraud measures in place so it may be possible to get your money back even if you become a victim of a scam or a fraudulent transaction. Before trying out a merchant or payment processor for the first time, make sure to check out the terms of service of the company as well as try to understand what kind of buyer protection is in place. You can also check consumer forums to learn more about the complaints filed against a particular merchant or payment processor. Finally, you should not use untrusted third party apps for online transactions as they could be designed to steal your financial details.

Step 3: Verify SSL Certificates
Before logging into your favorite banking or ecommerce website, make sure to verify its SSL certificate. A SSL certificate is issued to merchants and payment processing websites by a trusted authority and it guarantees the authenticity of the website. You should also look for a secured connection (HTTPS), a padlock icon in the address bar (or status bar) and a green background (or name of the company) in the address bar to ensure that the site is genuine and not set up by a hacker or criminal to steal your financial information.

Step 4: Use Credit Cards For Payment
You should make it a point to use credit cards (instead of debit cards or internet banking) for online transactions. In case you become a victim of a fraud, it is much easier to dispute and get fraudulent transaction reversed if your credit card was used to make a purchase.

Step 5: Security At Unsecured Networks
If possible, you should avoid conducting any financial transaction through unsecured wireless networks. That’s because, the Wi-Fi hotspots available at coffee shops, malls and airports are not secured by the providers which makes it extremely easy for anyone (even hackers) to sniff out data from other people who are connected to the same network. However, if you urgently need to send money to someone or buy something through an unsecured Wi-Fi network, consider subscribing to a reliable VPN service (such as ExpressVPNSwitchVPN, or VPN4ALL)  first.

May 15, 2014

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