E-commerce has changed the way we shop. Today as of writing this article, big online shopping sites like Ebay and Amazon is continually growing and acquiring more and more customers by the day. It is expected that by 2019, retailers based in Europe, UK and the US will double or even triple in size taking in over a trillion dollars in sales.
E-commerce is a booming business, and if you’re thinking of taking it to the Internet to place your very first online order, there are certain things that you need to be mindful about especially those which involve the safety of your personal information. Hackers are becoming smarter than ever. They have succeeded in hacking a host of company websites in the past and will surely try to do the same with e-commerce sites.
So how can you keep your crucial information from being stolen by these cyber-criminals? Paying online can put your personal information on danger, but thankfully, there are some things that you can do to prevent this and make every online transaction a lot more secure.
It is true that online thieves and hi-tech criminals have varied ways of capturing your personal information and one way to prevent this from happening is to keep an eye at your credit report. This helps ensure that nothing out of the ordinary is happening in your bank transactions, but again, it’s still isn’t enough.
So here are 3 more simple tips that you can do to make sure that every online transaction you do is secure all the time!
1. Shop Only at Verified and Reputable E-commerce Sites Using a Payment Service
E-commerce giants like Apple, Amazon, and Ebay implement a series of stringent security protocols ensuring each transaction is secure 100% all the time. Be wary of those niche sites (sites that focus on specialty products or one particular interest) that don’t have a good market reputation or worst, no market reputation at all.
Most online criminals set up a fake website for the sole purpose of collecting card information from unsuspecting customers. You can avoid such tricks by shopping only from sites that already have an excellent online reputation.
The sites that offer a particular form of guarantee for every transaction placed in their shop. Furthermore, you can make your online shopping transaction even more secured by setting up an account on a payment service like Paypal and using that account to pay.
By doing this, you will no longer need to enter your credit card details into the site. You need to go through the initial steps then checkout with Paypal to complete the transaction. Payment services such as Paypal, Google Checkout and others can reimburse fraudulent transactions in your account as long as you report about it within 60 days from the time it occurred.
2. Use Credit Card Instead of a Debit Card
Your bank does not ensure the personal funds that you have in your debit card account, but they insure their own money which you use when you pay via your credit card. Yes! Your credit card transactions are protected against fraud, so it is better to use a credit card for your online purchases since the money that went into a fraudulent transaction using a debit card is hard to recover.
Purchasing online isn’t the same as swiping your card when you buy something from a physical retailer. The POS devices in physical stores are capable of verifying your information on site. It is the same concept that works with ATMs where the RFID chip in your card is read and verified once you enter the right PIN. RFID technology is secure, and it can be found in modern sales applications or even in passport verification.
Secure information verification like the ones mentioned above is not found in online transactions. There is no way to prove someone’s identity other than entering personal information which can be stolen easily using varied techniques.
By using your credit card, you are using the protection employed by your issuing bank and make your online purchase more secure. In case a fraudulent transaction happens, your bank will investigate it and reimburse you the amount once the claim investigation is over.
3. Secure Sites Should Have “https”
Https is a technology that encrypts information. It was invented by Netscape to protect privacy and personal information of users upon checkout. Upon reaching the final step where you will pay for the item you want to order, always make sure that you are doing so in a site that has “https” on the URL.
When logging in, you must see the URL changing to “https” with a green padlock symbol on the left side of the browser bar right before the URL of the site. In other cases, you will see a green padlock icon on the left-hand side of the browser bar with the organization name on your browser. Seeing this means that you are currently on a secured website.
It also means that an additional layer of protection is active using EV SSL certificate. It is a type of encryption technology that makes every transaction even more secure by encryption every data that’s being transmitted from the browser to the server and vice-versa.
Some Final Words
As you can see, there can be many ways for online criminals to try and steal your personal information while you’re shopping online but there are also plenty of ways to counteract such evil plans. Follow the steps I’ve given in detail above, and you’re sure to have a safer, more secure online shopping experience!