How to Protect Your Money and Accounts Online
Online shopping has made our lives more convenient, but there is also a downside to the coin – risks. Probably, everyone has heard about Internet scammers. How to avoid them? This article describes all about online shopping without risk – read the basic rules for your money and account safety.
12 Tips for Secure Online Financial Transactions
- Try not to use your main credit card to pay on the Internet. Open for these purposes a second card in the same bank. This is especially true of those payment systems and online stores to which you want to link your card for convenience;
- Do not transfer large amounts to the card for online purchases. Keep there a little more than you are going to spend in the very near future. Why more? If you buy in foreign stores, a so-called technical overdraft may occur due to the difference in rates on the day of payment and on the day of debiting the funds. As a result, the card will go into negative territory. Usually, any bank charges high interest on the amount of debt;
- Buy goods only on secure sites run by owners who care about the safety of their users. The secure site address must start with https://. Also, there should be an icon in the form of a closed lock to the left of the address bar. If the icon is red or crossed out, then you should refuse purchases. Also, note that the presence of the necessary elements in the address bar does not guarantee you that the site is not fake. See point 6;
- If possible, do not use public proxy servers and anonymizers, although they often attract with their freeness and give you the illusion of security. In fact, using such services, you will never be sure that there is not someone between you and the online store which receives all the information that you exchange with any sites, including your personal data and your bank card details;
- Before paying for a purchase in an online store, you must specify the card details: number, expiration date, three-digit security code on the back, as well as the name and surname of the owner. It happens that the browser offers to save the card data in order to fill out the payment form automatically in the future. It sounds pretty damn convenient but you should disagree. This is especially dangerous for a browser in which you have a personal profile that is used on several computers. In this case, there is a high risk that the card will be used by an outsider;
- If you received a letter by mail or messenger on behalf of a company you know with an offer to make purchases on its website, do not rush to follow the link. It is better to copy it into a browser and check the name of the site – what if the site is fake and the letter is set by scammers? When going to make purchases, do not be lazy to check whether the site really belongs to a particular company. A simple search will easily solve this problem;
- Purchase goods of popular brands exclusively on the already established Internet sites. If the site is new to you, you should be alerted by the following circumstance: too low price; absence of reviews about the site on the net or lots of negative reviews; no company’s address on the website; no other contact information; the seller’s desire not to give you time to think about the purchase in correspondence or during a conversation on the phone; redirection to suspicious sites not related to the store. If you are faced with any of the above, then you are probably dealing with scammers whose purpose is to get your bank card details. If in doubt, check the site at https://www.whois.com/whois/. If you realize that the site has only existed for a few days, these are definitely scammers. Beware of phishing! Attackers create fly-by-night websites with lucrative offers for the purchase of goods. The design of such sites practically does not differ from real online stores, the address is also disguised under them – the difference is often in a couple of characters. Payment transactions on such sites are essentially transfers of funds to the accounts of fraudsters. Clients do not receive a real product or service. This scam is called phishing. Its key danger is that the money transfer to the fraudster’s account is made in a secure mode and is confirmed by the victim by means of a one-time password. It is very difficult to dispute such a transfer in a bank;
- Before paying, pay attention to whether there are all sorts of checkboxes, buttons and the like on the page and whether there are installed – indications that you agree with something. You can be imposed on “voluntary” donations, contributions, subscriptions, insurance. Always read the rules before ticking the “agree with the terms and conditions” checkbox;
- Do not use shared computers and public Wi-Fi hotspots for purchases, especially those that are not password protected;
- Do not disclose your bank card details to either bank employees or employees of online stores. Bank employees already know all the necessary information, and employees of online stores do not need it at all for making a payment;
- If you are a user of an Android gadget, download mobile applications (including banking) only through the official store – Google Play. Do not follow the links to download programs from the search results of the browser – with a high probability, you will receive an application infected with malicious code or a virus, which is often done just in order to track and interfere with your money transactions. It would be more reliable to disable the very ability to install the application from outside the store – this is done in the system settings of the gadget;
- Pay close attention to what permissions any application is requesting. If a program with kittens and raccoons needs access to an SMS or a microphone, then there is a high probability that malware is hidden behind the external simplicity. It can take over control of your smartphone and mobile bank.
Tags: account, finance, money, online