Follow these tips when you are transacting online to keep sensitive information safe and enjoy a hassle-free experience.
There is no doubt that online transactions have made life simpler than ever before. However, you need to follow the best security practices to ensure that your information is protected.
As more and more people move to online financial transactions, the risk of getting defrauded becomes higher each year. The reality is that online scams occur as regularly as offline robbery, mainly because of sloppy customer habits and sophisticated online fraudsters. The pandemic has made things only worse. It is there, extremely, important that your data remains protected.
To ensure a safe and secure online transaction experience, keep these tips in mind.
Use Firewalls and Antivirus
Firewalls are gateways between a computer and cyberspace. It monitors the incoming and outgoing traffic (credit/debit card information, SSN) and determines which one is to be allowed and which is to be blocked. Antivirus software is the first the line of defence against offline and online threats. It scans, locates and removes unwanted applications such as trojans, worms, spyware, spams, and viruses from the device. An antivirus software will help keep your computer safe, but a firewall will enhance its protection.
Use a Private Browser/VPN
All the major browsers have inbuilt features of private browsing. This helps you keep your search history, browser history, or local data like cookies unrecorded. However, it does not stop your information from being shared with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Meanwhile, VPN or Virtual Private Network encrypts your internet traffic and online identity, making it harder for the third parties to break in and steal your data.
Clear Your Web Browser’s Cache/Cookies
As you travel the web, your browser collects or caches certain files to speed up your browsing experience. However, when you update information on a website or configure domain settings, the browser’s local cache and cookies can get in the way. Web developers make updates to your site to push a change or make a new feature live.You may face browser errors like run-time error, buttons missing on the page, unable to save the timesheet, the action performed doesnot respond appropriately, etc. Clearing the cookies and cache of your browser can fix these issues.
Check Digital Certificates of Security
For transacting online, like paying bills or transferring money on an unsecured connection,banks have started to use the feature of a digital signature certificate to confirm the identity of the user. The SMS or OTP verification system ensures the safety of online transactions and prevents you from deception or fraud.
Customers can use the Digital Signature Certificate to make online financial transactions safe, secure, and encrypted. Here, you have to register your digital signature with your bank’s branch.It will be mapped to your account.
Always confirm Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) while browsing a website, app, or social media platform. It is a standard technology that protects sensitive information transmitting between two systems.
Use Virtual Keyboard
You will be surprised, but hackers can figure out your password by capturing your keystrokes on the keypad. You can unwittingly download programs such as spyware and trojan programs from free MP3/MP4 downloads, which can capture your keystrokes. Banks have introduced the concept of virtual keyboards to protect your account, card information, or password (IPINs) to avoid such frauds. So, always enter important information using on-screen keyboard as there is a risk of interference by some spyware.
Ensure Card Security Features
Most cards (credit/debit) have a signature panel, expiration date, magnetic stripe, and unique account number. Make sure you sign at the back of your card. Be cognizant of the three-digit code known as the CVV (Card Verification Value).
Upgrade your magnetic stripe card to a chip card to encrypt any transaction. Make sure your card has a holograph unique to the card-issuing authority. You can also request to add your photo on the card from the issuing bank. Besides the above-mentioned ways, certain card providers also give a virtual credit card number to prevent fraud and identity theft.
Don’t Save Cards/Passwords
It is a common practice by many customers to save their card details on merchant sites to save time and effort for repeated transactions. You need toavoid this temptation to keep your data secure. Password is another crucial aspect that you need consider to keep your online transaction secure. Set a strong password and change it every six months if you are doing frequent online transactions. Further, it would be best if you did not fall victim to anyone asking for your password or PIN.
Use UPI Safely
In April 2016, the RBI introduced the UPI (Unified Payments Interface), which has proved to be a boon for merchant payments and peer-to-peer transactions. A standard error on the UPI platform is that customers do not know the difference between collect or payment requests.
Remember that you do not have to enter your PIN while receiving money through UPI. You should also check the transaction type, whether funds are to be received or sent. When in doubt, reject the transaction and do not install malicious apps.
By taking the above measures, you can make sure that your online transactions, be it for shopping or paying bills, remain safe and secure. This way, you can stay protected against online frauds or identity thefts.