The immense surge in online payments over the last decade has led to the increased cyber theft risk. Online marketplaces, banks, and developers struggle to protect user privacy from hacking attacks, but they cannot fix the lack of awareness amongst users. Since there’s no way to escape online payments in everyday life anymore, Maxpay merchant portal experts offer to follow 9 uncomplicated steps to make online payments risk-free.
1. Type Retailer’s Address Instead of Clicking
You probably have a bunch of favorite online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, etc. Popular marketplaces like these are a tidbit for online fraudsters as they generate immense traffic every day. Trying to intercept customers, thieves may create fake websites or malicious platforms that can “infect” your smartphone or computer with malware that can potentially steal your passwords and credit card data. You can easily secure yourself against this type of catch with these steps:
- Don’t browse for retailers – enter their websites in the address bar manually and add them to browser bookmarks;
- Use official retailer apps on smartphones;
- Don’t trust retailer websites that run HTTP instead of HTTPS as they are not secured with an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol that hides the details of the data sent via the Internet.
2. Use Temporary Credit Card Numbers
Quite many banks offer credit cards with permanent numbers on them and temporary numbers that can be generated online for one-time purchases. Even if somebody steals this number, they won’t be able to use it. Unfortunately, you cannot use this measure for recurring payments and subscription auto-renewal, but partial protection is guaranteed.
3. Use a Low-Limit Credit Card
If you want to use services that require regular payments and auto-renewal, you can request an extra card that has the minimal needed amount for these services, or get a credit card with a low daily expenditure limit. This won’t let thieves withdraw too much until you notice suspicious activity on your account.
4. Use a Dedicated Email
You can additionally protect yourself by creating a separate email address only for online shopping. This way, you can reduce the risk of opening emails and spam from malicious parties. They can be disguised as promotional letters, discount vouchers, prizes, and other attractive things. In addition, you have to be careful about the services where you register with this address to avoid unwanted letters.
5. Install a Password Manager
Password managing applications set you free from memorizing multiple passwords and store them in encrypted files to prevent theft. It also means you won’t be using the same password for all the different websites. For example, macOS and iOS users can use automatic strong passwords and store them in the Keychain app. You are free to install any third-party service or an antivirus instead.
6. Keep Sensitive Data to Yourself
Avoid saving your personal details on websites and in browsers. Enter it manually every time you log in and don’t forget to log out. This way, you will remain protected from several types of security breaches.
7. Don’t Use Public WiFi & Devices
You should never use public WiFi hotspots for purchases: they are highly exposed to random hacker attacks and personal data theft. Use your mobile network when you’re not home and share it on your computer if needed. Public computers also can be highly vulnerable as it’s easy for hackers to come and install malware on them.
8. Use Only Trusted Apps
Google Play and the App Store are full of malicious services that pretend to be leaders in the industry and feature excellent interfaces. If you’re not sure about an app, do some research for reviews on trusted review platforms.
9. Check Merchant Reputation
Internet technology development made it very easy for scammers to create fake marketing platforms with “credible” branding, perfect interfaces, and super-attractive products with realistic prices. You should always be willing to check their credibility before paying. It can be simply impossible to tell a fake platform from a trustworthy seller today.
Informed & Safe
Being a mindful customer is a great pleasure and a strike for online thieves. Applying these simple tips in your everyday life, you can secure yourself from the vast majority of Internet scam schemes and malicious software. Share this article with friends and colleagues to help them out.