Don’t let cyber predators get the better of you: follow this post to understand 7 key steps that will help keep your money safe when making online purchases and transactions.
With online shopping and banking becoming increasingly popular, it is essential to take precautions when making online transactions.
There is always a risk of using any form of online services. Using it in a proper way can only defend us from falling into bad situation. This post will provide 7 key tips that you can use to protect yourself and ensure your money remains safe while shopping or engaging in other online activities.
1. Always use a secure network while making online transactions.
Using secure network is one of the basic important requirement when doing online transactions. Whether you’re shopping online or logging into your bank account, it’s important to make sure that the network you are using is secure.
Free public wifi networks are not recommended for use when making transactions, as they are not encrypted and can be easily compromised. Using such connectivity may lead to unauthorized access to your bank account. Not to mention the bugs and malewares your system is exposed to.
To protect your data, connect to a private secure network every time you make an online purchase or transaction.
2. Use strong passwords and two-step authentication when possible.
Make sure to select strong passwords for all of your accounts and enable two-step authentication, if available.
Strong password comprise of case sensitive letters, numeric and special characters. Usually password with 8 characters are considered strong when you create random letters, digits and characters.
Using anything related to personal data such as your name, date of birth, anniversary date, places you know of- are bad choices. Stay away from these.
Two-step authentication requires a user to first enter their username and password, followed by entering a one-time code that is generated and sent to them via email or text message. It is called OTP- One Time Password.
This further enhances the security of the login process as it ensures that only you have access to the account even if your credentials have been compromised.
3. Stick to well-known, trusted websites for purchases or transactions being made.
Whenever possible, choose well-known, trusted online marketplace and ecommerce websites for purchases or transactions. These websites typically have higher security standards in place to ensure the safety of your data and any payments being made.
Additionally, reputable sites generally provide customer service options for questions or concerns you may have about a purchase or transaction prior to completing it.
In fact, being selective when using online merchant is very crucial. The reason being sharing of financial details. When you purchase something online, you must have seen the payment screen where you have to provide your ATM card/Credit card details including card number, card holder’s name, expiry date and CVV number.
That means you are giving out all your details. Merchant can get the payment without your intervention. As such, when the merchant’s site is compromised, there is high chance of unauthorized card transactions.
4. Look out for offers that look too good to be true – they sometimes are!
Be wary of offers that appear too good to be true and require immediate action, as those deals often have strings attached.
Don’t click the links in emails asking for personal information such as passwords or bank details, even if these appear to be from a legitimate company – phishing scams are becoming more and more common.
If you’re unsure of an offer’s authenticity or simply want to double-check it yourself, do some research online before making any decisions.
5. Check feedbacks and reviews before-hand.
Before expecting to receive a dreamy product or service, do your homework first and see what other people are saying. Check the reviews section of e-stores, online forums, and any other channels you can find to get an idea of a product’s quality.
Doing this will not only help protect you from being scammed but it can also allay any doubts you might have about the validity of the offer.
6. Understand Basics of Social Engineering.
Knowing the basics of how online frauds occur is the need of the hour. If you have prior knowledge about it, there is a high chance that you might be able to identify the suspicious links and emails.
Knowing about the tools of social engineering will definitely give you positive mind-set in addressing the issue. These tools can be in the form of receiving harmful links and messages (Phishing and Smishing). It can be impersonation too, which is part of spoofing, letting you believe that you are talking to the genuine person.
7. Recheck Before Committing The Transaction.
Recheck before committing the transaction is a must. Often users have to contact to the bank for reversal of transaction done to wrong account. The worst thing is, when you type account number slightly different to the one you are supposed to and if turn out to be existing account to someone else. Your transaction will be completed successfully.
The actual beneficiary will not get the fund as it goes to unknown person. This type of error takes time to reverse it. One thing is sure that, you have to get the help of your bank.
These type of errors can be prevented easily. It make sense to recheck and review the payment details before committing to final payment.