Okay so here we are! 2016 is almost over and the Holiday Season has reached its zenith. New Year is all about Parties, Shopping, Gifting, Travel, Food, Movies and much more. This year we have seen many things getting connected to the Internet and other technologies. One of the best examples to quote would be of the Amazon Go Stores. Other could be the Digital Payments which is probably even more indispensable than cash transactions!
Every new invention comes with its pros and cons. Nothing is different for Digital Payments and Online Transactions. One way they have eased our life is by freeing us of long queues and saving up on time. But considering the threat of cybercrimes, it is not a foolproof method. You all would have heard many news this year about Identity thefts, Social Account Hacking, Leaking of Credit Card and Bank Account Information.
There would be a good number of people who would have not opted for digital payments considering the perceived threat of monetary and even identity theft. There would be some who use this mode of payment in limited places.
Since Holiday Season is on and New Year Eve is approaching and you want to be free of that CASH CARRYING BURDEN, I am listing here the tips on how you can make your Digital Payments More Safe and Secure.
- Never give out your password to anyone
- Don’t use the same password for all accounts
- Create passwords that are easy to remember but hard for others to guess
- Longer the passwords, the better security. Passwords should have at least 8 characters.
- Include numbers, capital letters and symbols
- Don’t use dictionary words
- Don’t post it in plain sight
- Consider using a password manager
- Consider using a multi-factor authentication
- Don’t fall for “phishing” attacks.
- Make sure your devices are secure
- Use a “password” or fingerprints for your phone too.
2. Online Shopping Tips
- Stick with trusted brands that have a credibility.
- Always log out of bank, credit card, and merchant sites after you have completed your transaction.
- Do not allow your computer to store user names and passwords for merchant or banking websites.
- Be wary of dodgy offers that are too good to be true.
- Use False information for security questions of online sites and keep a track of answers.
3. Secure E-Commerce Websites
- Use credit cards and secure payment services instead of debit cards.
- Use mobile phone network over public Wi-Fi.
- Use a reputable third-party pay services such as PayPal for online transactions whenever possible.
- Check for website addresses before making the money transactions. Websites starting with “https://” are safest to make payment on. Don’t trust the websites without “S” after “http”.
4. Safety Tricks while Shopping
- Avoid doing online payments and transaction for shopping using the public Wi-Fi network.
- Keep distance from easy payment or one click payment options as those could a trap for stealing your personal and login information.
- Use the updated versions of Internet browsers as they use the latest technology to protect the data.
- Always check for company logos on Financial and Sales Websites. Verify the website by clicking on the logos before beginning the shopping or making the transaction.
5. Keep impeccable records
- Maintain records of all online payments and compare them with credit card and bank statements monthly.
- Ask your bank about what kind of Fraud protection they provide on your internet banking transactions.
6. Anti-Virus Programs
- Always use licensed anti-virus software with a spyware protection feature in it.
- Run virus scan on your PCs on regular intervals.
- Using Ad-blocking programs is a good way of keeping the malicious sites at a distance. Keep these programs up-to-date.
- Download and apply updates for your firewall programs whenever available, to ensure that the programs has information of the latest techniques of scams.
7. Personal Information Protection
- Never share your personal information like your Date of birth or of anyone in the family over the social networking websites.
- Any information that you share online could be hacked so try to keep the personal information sharing to the minimum.
8. Email Security
- If you feel suspicious about any email, internet site, chat request, close the browser instantly and shut down your PC for some time. On restarting the computer run a full-virus scan and spyware scan.
9. Safe Online Banking
- Choose an account with two factor authentication and create a strong password
- Always keep your computer up-to-date and secured.
- Avoid clicking through links of bank given in the emails.
- Never login your bank accounts through a public network or through public cafes. Always remember to log out after the work is done.
- Always enable the notification of all types on your account transactions.
10. Safe Mobile Transactions
- Downloads apps from trustworthy sources. Always read the reviews and check rating before using any app.
- Always have lock password for your mobile phones to protect someone else from sneaking into it.
- Never say your bank details and credit card details in the apps that you are using on your phone.
- Disconnect the internet connection when not in use.
- Type internet banking URL instead of copying and pasting it.
- Be alert in case you find any unusual activity on you accounts or mobile apps. Take the necessary steps to protect your account information from getting leaked.
So, take the requisite steps to secure your online transactions, if you have not taken it yet. Enjoy your Holidays. And don’t get swindled.
Have a great year ahead!