How to Secure Your Online Transactions

Nowadays the Internet has penetrated literally every single aspect of our lives, leaving nothing untouched. Among the major purposes why somebody would engage in web surfing, we find the need to proceed with online transactions. Sending or receiving money, purchasing goods at affordable price rates and even buying tickets or booking a suite half the price that you would normally have to pay face to face are included under the broad term of online transactions.

Whether you seek to buy something or withdraw money from your bank account, are in search of a great bargain or you simply want to explore your options – securing online transactions is of paramount importance.

Although most people realize that there are a lot of dangers lurking in the dark out there, sometimes this is not enough to keep these dangers at bay. We have gathered some truly effective guidelines that will help you out towards safeguarding what is valuable online; should you comply with these guidelines, you are bound to enhance your overall online security and make the most out of how to secure all your online transactions in a fruitful manner.

So, let’s start unveiling the mystery and bringing the layers of mystery down one by one; in this way, you will fully comprehend what you ought to be after in your pursuit of a safe online environment for all sorts of transactions.

What Do You Need for Safe Online Transactions?

As you might have guessed already, there is no single answer to the above question. Instead, there is a plethora of details that you ought to be vigilant about. So, let’s get started with what you need to keep your eyes open for:

HTTPS Status

There is a huge difference between HTTP and HTTPS, although it is just a single letter added in the latter. HTTPS means that the website you are about to visit is encrypted. This is truly beneficial to you, as it guarantees that even when a cracker succeeds in penetrating its system, he will not find anything of value.

Instead, what he comes up with is encrypted and thus really hard to decrypt and make use of. In the other situation (with the HTTP website), no encryption is involved and therefore no protection is added. For thorough protection, you can use HTTPS Everywhere from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).

Security Lock

Similarly to the previous indication, a padlock on the address bar is a sign of encryption. So, when you visit a site and you spot the security lock at the address bar, you are certainly in a well protected place online. This is an indication of the browser that you use informing you of the security level of the site you are visiting at the time.

SSL Certificate

SSL is a cryptographic protocol, short for Secure Sockets Layer. There are two distinctive benefits behind the use of SSL certificate:

  • It is in fact a virtual identity and license of the site
  • It enables the use of encryption

As you can imagine, both of these benefits are essential to the online transactions being kept safe.  Without the use of the SSL certificate, you do not know who issues the certificate and you do not have any idea of the protection that you get online. Phishing attempts can be effectively tackled, as long as you check the SSL certificate of the site you are interested in visiting.

When it comes to the pieces of information that you need to check with in the case of SSL certificate, focus on the following:

  • Issued to: This is the website that you are supposed to have visited. If the info here matches the details that you have entered the web browser, this is a great indication.
  • Issued by: This is meant to be a certificate authority that has issued the SSL certificate. If the information here matches a trustworthy source, you are certain to have visited a reliable, protected website.
  • Validity: Apparently, this highlights whether or not the SSL is still valid. Unless it has expired, it is good to go.

Leave No Trace Online

Your digital footprint should be eliminated, if you wish to secure online transactions without any limitation. Remember to log out from the websites, once you are done with what you are doing. Being kept logged in several sites where you buy commodities can be trouble for you.

Of course, if you are serious about leaving no trace online you will never use public Wi-Fi connections and instead you will think of subscribing to a reliable VPN service provider. The use of VPN ensures that you do not reveal any of your personal information, as all your data is encrypted and you are given a different IP address every time you connect to a remote server.

Phone Option in Your Purchase

It goes without even questioning that a rather secure payment option for you is none other than the phone order. It is prudent of yours to seek such types of payment and order procedures, as they pose no actual threat and they lack nothing in convenience and immediacy. You do not have to use your credit card or type any other sensitive data in this method.

Choose Solid Passwords

Of course, selecting a password that is not easy to guess is of unique value. You need not use the same password everywhere online; on the contrary, you should choose a distinctive password to each and every single website you want to sign in and this will prevent any trouble along the way. More than that, you ought to choose your password carefully. This means that you ought to combine letters (upper and lower case) with symbols and numbers, rather than using known words and especially those that link back to you somehow (for instance, your pet or your address).

Avoid Viruses

If your computer has been compromised due to some virus, it will become more vulnerable against threats that jeopardize your online safety during transactions. In avoidance of such trouble, you need to have up-to-date anti-virus software that will allow you to remain out of reach from hackers and other snoopers. All at once, the anti-virus program will help you make the most out of the performance of your computer.

Accept Cookies

Despite belief, accepting cookies is actually part of the procedure of online shopping. Without cookies, you will not have the opportunity to complete an online purchase and this will lead to the lack of the privileges that such an option is able to offer you. However, you need to be vigilant and delete the cookies that have been installed on your computer from time to time. In this way, you will get the chance to buy online without being deprived of online safety.

Beware of Back Button

The Back button can lead to charging your account double for a single purchase. If you have pressed the back button upon completing a purchase and you continue on with submitting the same form once again, you can buy the same thing over and over again. So, be alarmed and click on cancel for preventing such incidents from occurring.

These are the major aspects that you ought to pay attention to, if you wish to secure your online transactions. You will find that they are quite simple and they provide immediate relief and great results. So, do not waste any more time and start building a strong wall that you will use while shopping online and getting the top bargains every single time!

Top/Featured Image: By Jericho [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Stella Strouvali Stella is a certified writer and zealous wordsmith, a true fan of Placebo, technology, Panionios and wellness. Still, her true passion has to do with eagerly learning new things and passing them on to others. “An unexamined life is not worth living”, to quote Socrates.
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