Shopping online for goods and services has always been convenient, but now it has turned into a necessity for the millions of people on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With access to brick-and-mortar businesses restricted, the Internet has become the perfect resource to turn to in these times of need.
Whether you’re paying for a movie streaming subscription, a home office chair, utilities, digital products or you’re donating money online, you are sending out personal and financial information. With cybercrime becoming more widespread and insidious by day, how to ensure your transactions are always private, safe and secure? Let’s find out.
Create a Payment Account Exclusively for Online Purchases
Although this might seem over-the-top to some people, creating a separate payment account just for your online purchases is a good way to protect yourself from many dangers on the Internet. You can transfer small sums of money required for your weekly or monthly online purchases to this account.
In case your account’s information gets stolen or you fall for an online scam, you won’t have to worry about your main accounts getting depleted by a malicious party. Your savings and salary will remain safe in your main accounts, so even in a worst-case scenario, your loss will be minimal.
Pay with Your Cryptocurrency Wallet
The massive popularity of bitcoin has paved the way for the rise of other cryptocurrencies. In recent years, many online businesses and merchants have added bitcoin to their list of accepted payment methods, and this openness towards cryptocurrency and other digital currencies will certainly see expansion in the future.
Low transaction fees, quick processing times and identity protection are only some of the benefits of a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. After learning how to create a bitcoin wallet, you can safely proceed to send or receive payments. The transactions are not directly linked to your identity, so the risk of exposing yourself to hackers or scammers is incredibly small.
Only Buy from Sites With SSL/TLS Encryption
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are two encryption protocols that protect the transfer of data over the Internet. Reputable websites use SSL or TLS encryption to ensures privacy, security and data integrity to online information, which is especially valuable for websites that sell services.
When you make a payment to a website with this high-level encryption, your financial information is safe and secure since hackers can’t break into the site’s servers. To identify websites that offer SSL/TSL encryption, look whether there’s a padlock symbol or an “S” after HTTP in their web address.
Buying things online is incredibly inconvenient, but as more of our activities move online, so do criminals. Cybercrime is a real threat that affects millions of people annually. If there’s one main thing cybercriminals are after that is our financial information. When we buy things online, we give this information away willingly. Taking some precautionary measures before deciding to type our credit card number on a website is essential.