Money is no longer limited to coins, paper notes or some other physical commodity. It has evolved to exist and to be transferred electronically over various mediums. One of the most popular mediums being the internet. One can purchase products and make the payment online or can transfer money to another person without providing actual cash. This is extremely convenient, efficient and arguably more secure. But not without its own flaws. A slight carelessness while doing online transactions can increase the risk of cyber fraud by manifold. Here are few things you should do to ensure the security of your online transactions:
Make sure you’re using a trusted portal:
Before you make the payment or give any personal information, make sure the website is trusted. If you haven’t heard of the site before you can do a small web search and confirm its validity by reading reviews online. Another way is to look at the address bar of your browser. If there is a closed lock symbol, it means the site is trusted and verified by your browser.
Make sure you’re using a trusted browser:
The browser you use has access to all the information you send or receive. It is essential that the browser you choose is well reputed and trusted, like google chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Make sure the information is encrypted:
Encryption is the conversion of your information into a code before transmission so that any interceptors will not be able to make use of it. To know if your details are encrypted, just look for ‘https’ at the beginning of the URL in the address bar. It means all the information transmitted through it is encrypted.
Verify the certificate encrypting the website:
This can be done by clicking on the lock symbol in the address bar. It shows details about the issuer of the certificate, who can be contacted to verify its integrity. The lock also changes color depending on the level of validation of the certificate.
- If it is red, the certificate is either invalid, corrupted or out of date.
- If it is yellow, there could be a problem with the issuer.
- If it is white, it is normal and communication is encrypted.
- If it is Green, it means the certification and the website are verified by the issuer and the communication is encrypted.
Always check the URL:
A very common fraud called phishing involves scammers posing as your bank or other service sending you a link to a website that looks exactly like your banks. If you enter your information there, you are in fact sending the same to those scammers. Always type in the address yourself and make sure you see ‘https’in the address bar.
Do not leave any history of your transactions:
It is important that you don’t leave your bank account logged in after you’ve finished the transactions, especially if you’re on a public computer. To ensure this operate in the incognito mode provided by your browser. This prevents any history from being saved.
Do not use the ‘back’ button:
This could sometimes be a very big mistake during online payments. If you hit ‘back’ to cancel while the payment is in process and start over again, you could end up paying twice. Although most websites incorporate tools to avoid this, you are better off not using the back button.
With this simple measures, you can drastically reduce the chance of any kind of risk. Browse carefully, browse safely!