How To Keep Your Online Transactions Safe & Secure?

a guy using card for online transaction - featured image

The Internet marketplace is a constant hub for online shopping and banking. However, it is unfortunate that online fraud and identity theft occur just as frequently, thanks to clever thieves and the careless shopping habits of consumers. 

While online transactions always carry some risk, there are many things consumers can do to enhance their web security.

According to Javelin Strategy and Research, identity fraud activity in 2021 impacted around 27 million consumers and amounted to a staggering $28 billion. The Javelin report reveals that consumers are now more active and knowledgeable about the risks associated with online credit card transactions. 

To ensure maximum safety when shopping online, consumers should follow several key steps outlined below.

How to Guarantee Safe Transaction?

#1 Never Save Card Information

While making online purchases, it is important to never save a user’s debit/credit card details. Although it may seem convenient for faster payments and future purchases, it is safer to delete the card information once the transaction is complete. This simple step helps avoid the risk of card information theft.

#2 Use Secure Payment Systems

If you’re paying for a streaming subscription or other service that you don’t want to pay monthly, use PayPal rather than your bank card. This will save you from unnecessary expenses. The service offers other benefits to protect your account, funds, and transactions. 

However, it is better to further study whether PayPal is safe and whether there are any risks. VeePN has a detailed analysis of this topic, as well as a tool to enhance protection.

#3 Use 2-Factor Authentication

When making online payments, users have the option to use a secure password, ATM pin, or OTP (One-Time Password). 

To ensure the security of online transactions, users should choose a two-factor authentication method that requires both a password and OTP. If this option is not available, users should opt for the OTP method.

OTP is an effective means of securing digital transactions, as long as it is kept confidential and not shared with anyone. 

It is important to be cautious of fraudulent attempts, such as phone calls claiming to be from a bank and requesting the recent OTP received on the user’s mobile phone. It is best to reject such requests and immediately contact the bank or service provider to prevent online fraud.

#4 Never Reply to Fraud Emails

Phishing is a widespread practice where individuals attempt to obtain your personal information, commonly through email or text. You likely receive numerous emails in your inbox falsely claiming that you have won a contest or received a specific amount of money. 

It is important to never open or reply to these emails. Take the time to learn how to identify spam mail and simply ignore or delete them.

#5 Never Use Public Wi-Fi

Do not send funds online on public Wi-Fi networks as they typically lack adequate security features found in private networks. 

Instead, use your phone data. If you must perform an emergency transaction on public Wi-Fi, use a VPN on Edge or an app for your smartphone. VPN provides online security, as it encrypts data and does not allow third parties to interfere with your channel or do anything with your data.

ecommerce online transaction

#6 Use Only Trusted Resources

Users should be cautious of the plethora of app-based services available, as illegitimate apps also exist. These can be easily identified by reviewing user feedback, download statistics, and the absence of a ‘verified’ badge.

When downloading applications, it is crucial to verify their legitimacy, even for mobile banking or wallet apps. Most apps require permission to access the user’s camera, contacts, SMS, and more. 

Users should exercise caution when allowing such access, denying it if the source seems untrustworthy. A helpful tip is to check the app’s popularity and whether it requests personal or banking information that is typically not shared.

#7 Monitor Your Expenses

You should compare your expenses and your card statements. If you find inconsistencies, it is important to understand the reasons as quickly as possible. 

If you suspect unauthorized use of your credit card or personal information online, contact the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) immediately to place a fraud alert on your credit report. 

Notify your credit card provider right away to ensure eligibility for fraud liability protection, as your liability for charges depends on timely reporting. It is crucial to report any fraudulent activity on your card or bank account to qualify for fraud liability protection.

Final Words

The government has been emphasizing the use of digital transactions since demonetization. While this can save time and cost, users must take extra precautions before using digital modes for monetary transactions to protect themselves against fraud and theft.