Online shopping through credit card transactions has become an integral part of our life. From buying small things to booking air tickets to paying school fees, all can be done in a go. People have started taking the online route due to various reasons; it is time-saving, convenient, hassle-free, attractive discounts are available, quick shipping, easy returns and more.
But what about the online fraud that people face? The virtual shopping world is not far behind from the real world in terms of theft and fraud. It has online thieves and cyber fraudsters like we have burglars, thieves and conmen in our real life. There is always a fear of identity theft in our mind while doing online transactions through our credit card. Hence, web security is very important for minimising online transaction risks.
Let’s us take a look at 11 smart tips for safe online credit card transactions:
1. Do Transactions through Familiar Sites Only
Do transactions on sites which you are familiar rather than sites that you visit through the Google search results. Always cross-check correct spellings of the sites and see if the site domain names have been changed to .net.or .in. Many fraudsters develop fake sites with the same names however, the hosting names are different.
2. Check if the Site is Completely Secure
You don’t need to be a computer professional to check if the site you are accessing is completely secure. You just need to check if site url name has http:// or https://. In https://’s’ stands for secured using SSH. Also, check if the digital security certificate of a site has expired or not. Green lock sign just before the https means the site is fully secure and has a valid certificate. Red triangle sign before the http means the site is NOT secure and is very dangerous.
3. Don’t Use your Credit Card on Porn or Gambling Sites
No matter a porn site or a gambling site has http or https sign, just avoid any kind of online transactions through them. There have been reported cases where people had tried to pay a few pounds on such sites but deducted more. Also, in some countries, porn and gambling sites are not legal so doing transactions can lead you in trouble.
4. Beware of a Phishing Fraud
Phishing is a cyber fraud where people attempt to steal sensitive information of the users like username, password, and credit card details by disguising themselves as a trusted site or a genuine email sender. Beware of such phishing attacks and never click on suspicious emails or websites.
5. Install a Licensed Internet Security Antivirus in your System
Prevention is better than cure. Why wait for a cyber attack? Just empower your laptop, desktop and mobile phone with the latest version of any popular internet security antivirus. If your system doesn’t have an antivirus or your antivirus software has expired, then anybody can hack your system and steal all sensitive information. Always update the installed antivirus software with the latest virus definitions. Keep it in the auto-update mode.
6. Beware of Fake Offers
Do you instantly click on heavy discount ads? Well, if yes, then hold on! Various e-commerce companies do send promotional emails and discount coupons but you should cross-check from the actual website of the seller. Sometimes offers are fake and you end up paying for nothing.
7. Never Use Public Computers for the Transactions
Always use your personal system or mobile phone for doing online credit card transactions. Don’t use your office computer or go to any computer café for doing online shopping. Public systems may be infected with a snooping bug and steal your credit card information. If there is any emergency then always check if the public desktop has been inserted with any snooping device or flash card. Make sure if it is secure with the latest antivirus.
8. Don’t Save your Card Password Details in your System
Always remember your credit card number, expiry date, CVV number and password. Don’t write all such sensitive information on your laptop or mobile phone. Your system or cloud space is at risk of credit card details theft.
9. Say NO to Public Wi-Fi
Who don’t love free Wi-Fi data connections? But free Wi-Fi connections come with a cost – Lack of security. Public hotspots or Wi-Fi zones are full of viruses and malware that can steal your sensitive personal information. Never use public Wi-Fi for the online transactions. You can use the incognito window for normal browsing.
10. Register with Master SecureCode or Verified by Visa
Add an additional layer of security to your credit card transactions by registering with Master SecureCode or Verified by Visa (VBV). Both are widely accepted across the world. You will get a password or security code that you have to enter before doing online transactions through your credit card. Keep changing your password frequently and never share with anybody.
11. Always use Virtual Keyboard
Manual keyboards can be compromised by the cyber fraudsters so your credit card details are at high risk. Try to use a virtual keyboard that is provided by the payment gateway at the time of the transaction. These virtual keyboards are safe and secure.
If you suspect any cyber fraud attempt then quickly block your credit card. You can’t stop yourself from using your plastic card just because of a single bad experience or fear of cyber fraud. Always check your credit card statement properly to see if there is any suspected transaction that you haven’t done at all. Keep track of your online spending. Be careful and transact safely.