How To Keep Your Online Transactions Safe & Secure: 11 Tips To Ensure You Don’t Lose Money
We often come across reports where people lose money because their account got hacked or someone lost money due to an online fraud. Malware, viruses, phishing are common across the internet and the onus is on us to protect ourselves from them.
So here are a few tips you must follow to protect your money online:
1. Never use public Wi-Fi or a public computer for online transaction or money transfer
Never attempt an online transaction on a public Wi-Fi. They often have fewer security features than a private network. So always switch to your phone data.
If you have to do an emergency transaction on a public wifi out of emergency, be sure to change it ASAP.
2. Firewalls and Antivirus
If you don’t have an antivirus app, get one — ideally if it’s a paid one. Put your antivirus on auto update. This will ensure that it’s updated all the time. There’s a new malware on the internet every day. An updated firewall will protect you from these.
Turn your firewall on. Firewalls often block sites that are malicious or suspicious. If your firewall blocks a certain website, be sure to avoid it.
3. Never reply to fraud emails and texts
Phishing or the attempt to gain your personal information generally over email or text is rampant. Your inbox is probably full of emails, claiming that you’ve won a contest or you’ve been credited a certain amount of money. Never open these emails. Never reply to them. Learn to identify such spam mail and ignore them, or if you have the time, delete them.
4. Check for digital certificates
Always check for the digital certificates when using a third party payment method. Often you can see a symbol like VeriSign’ on the window, and you can click on it to get information on the website’s certification.
5. Prefer virtual keyboard
There are malware and viruses that can make a log of what you type on your keyboard. So it’s advisable to use a virtual keyboard when doing an online transaction. Banks have an option for a virtual keyboard on their login pages. Use it.
6. Enable two-step verification
If your device doesn’t have a mandatory two-step verification, make sure to turn it on. Two-step verification involves passing two security walls to perform an operation on your phone. For eg, Google’s two-step verification ask you to verify yourself by asking you your password, pattern or fingerprint first and then they divert you to your bank’s website.
7. Check if the connection is secure
Always check for the lock symbol on the address bar and check if ‘https://’ is in green. It means that the connection is secure. If it’s yellow or red, never attempt an online transaction as it might make your information vulnerable.
8. Always track your online spending
Keep track of your bank balance and how much you spend online. It’s better to dedicate just one credit or debit card for online transactions. This makes tracking your online spending easier. If you find any suspicious behaviour, check with your bank immediately.
9. Private Browsing
Another way to protect your information is private browsing like the incognito mode on google chrome. Private browsing doesn’t save passwords or create history and it clears all the cookies and cache data from your device.
10. Always mind your password
Protecting your password is extremely critical and there are several key points you must remember:
a) Never share your password with anyone, even your family members.
b) If you’ve written it down on a piece of paper, make sure to keep it safe. Writing your passwords anywhere is inadvisable, though.
c) Change your password often, preferably after 2-3 months.
d) Never keep the same password for all your accounts. If one of your accounts is hacked, your other accounts become extremely vulnerable.
e) Never allow browsers to save your password.
f) Make your passwords difficult to guess. Make a long password with alphanumeric characters and symbols. Make use of both uppercase and lowercase letters.
11. Don’t forget to log out
Never just leave your device without logging out of your account. Most banks now have a system, where they automatically log you out after a period of inactivity, but it’s better to do it yourselves.
Since most of our life is spent online, it’s out for everybody. Thus it’s critical to protect your information; money being one of them. No one likes losing their money, because it’s hard earned. So being careful will save you from losing it.