Did you know that, according to research by Bankrate.com, almost 65% of credit card owners save their credit card numbers online or in phone apps. All despite the fact most of them fear their personal information may be compromised? Credit card users often lack caution when it comes to entering their personal info and saving it when paying online. Well, it’s no wonder! They find it very convenient and aren’t aware of the risks. If you shop online a lot and don’t know how to protect yourself you may be an easy target to hackers. Don’t worry, though. There are a few effective ways to protect your data and still pay online, from the comfort of your home.
Almost half of the people from the Bankrate study stated that they feel saving their personal and payment information online is safe. The reality is that there is always a potential risk your data could get stolen. Therefore, you need to learn how to defend yourself. “Digital mugging” is real. There are a variety of ways that internet criminals can get your precious information (for example your passwords, personal data, or payment data).
Many people prefer shopping online and if you are one of them, please continue reading this article. Today you will learn how to secure your data when paying online and prevent hackers from accessing it. Let’s dive in!
If you don’t know where to begin, maybe you should talk to a professional. All purchases process through credit, debit, POS, ATM, or prepaid systems, and your sensitive data may be vulnerable. An expert may offer you an in-depth understanding of the payment card industry or PCI. This will make the process easy and convenient, not to mention you will be perfectly safe from any potential cyber-attack. Security must be your priority. And sometimes the answer is to consult a professional, especially if you are a business owner.
If not, a good way to protect your online data is to simply enable a two-factor authentication code. This adds another step to make it more difficult for potential hackers. You can choose whether you want a code to be sent to you via SMS or email. Or, perhaps you prefer to answer a security question only you know.
Using authentication apps is another great idea. Check out Google Authenticator and Authy that are specifically for this purpose. These apps will automatically provide you a code and protect you. Be careful if you choose a similar app you know nothing about. Read the reviews and do your research, since these unknown apps may have malware infections.
Don’t forget to create a strong password. Many people repeat the same password across accounts, as they find it easier. But, this can really get you into trouble. Also, check out the alerts that your bank may offer for free. This will help you discover suspicious activity at once.
Public Wi-Fi can be very useful in cafes or at the airport. However, it can be an open invitation for cyber attackers. According to a study, 80% of people use public Wi-Fi regularly. This isn’t a problem most of the time, but if you enter your credit card info while using it, cyber intruders could access your card number and other data.
Choose to connect to your smartphone internet instead if you are in need of paying online. Or try using a VPN at least.
Let’s face it! There isn’t a website that is 100% secure out there. However, some of them are safer than others and, fortunately, there are a few ways to determine if a website you are shopping on raises any red flags. For example, if a website sends you pop-ups all the time and often crashes - it may be less safe. You should also look for a padlock icon before the URL, as it is usually the signal the website is secure.
Make sure you choose a large e-retailer if you plan shopping online and always check the spelling of URLs. Unfortunately, there are false websites out there that look completely the same as the original. But, you can detect them by noting small differences in the URL.
Paying online carries some risks but you can reduce them by following this guide. Always try to use the best payment method. Improve your online security and enjoy your shopping completely.