Everything appears to be digital nowadays and online transactions are now the norms of many industries. Now that the e-Commerce industry is bigger than ever and will even get bigger in the next few years, more online transactions will surely be made by more people worldwide.
In 2018 alone, it was estimated that around 1.8 billion people purchased goods online. In fact, the e-Commerce industry is now worth trillions of dollars and that’s still set to get bigger as more years pass by. This simply means that more people are now comfortable with transactions online.
If you’re an online consumer yourself, it’s perfectly normal if you still feel like there is still a chance of getting involved in online fraudulent activities without knowing it. Getting scammed, after all is still common on the internet despite better and improved cybersecurity.
Sure, online shops or other platforms that handle transactions take their own steps to make sure that their customers can safely transact with them online. However, as a responsible online consumer, it’s still best to take your own steps to protect yourself. Here are some practices that you should carry out whenever you plan on making a purchase or any transactions online.
- Strong passwords are key
As much as possible, try to use different passwords on your different accounts online. This can help protect most of your online accounts in case one of them gets hacked. When it comes to creating your password, it’s always ideal to use number, letters, and symbols. It’s also better if you use letters in lower and uppercases. Avoid using your, your son or daughter’s, or your partner’s birthdate as these can be very predictable.
Saving your password on your browser may seem like a convenient thing to do, but don’t do this with your online accounts that concern money or your personal information. Doing this can easily get you in trouble when you accidentally leave your device somewhere.
- Enable privacy mode or incognito
This should be your go-to if you’ll be accessing your online banking accounts or digital wallets. Turning the privacy mode on or accessing the incognito window on Chrome is an additional step to protect you from hackers.
When you’re in privacy or incognito mode, the browser you’re using will only keep the data you’ve input for only as long as the browser or window is on. Once you close the window, the cache data will be cleared.
- Install anti-virus and security software on your device
This may be something you should invest on. A free anti-virus and security software would already work but if you really want to make sure that your device is completely protected, it’s best that you purchase a subscription for this instead. It’s better to spend on this than to get hacked or get a virus on any of your device.
- Always choose the best payment option for you
Whether you’re making an online purchase or you’re depositing an amount to your account to be able to play online blackjack, always consider the best payment option for you. If you’re really concerned about having to share your banking details on different websites, then you may want to consider using cryptocurrencies or digital wallets instead.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and digital wallets like PayPal can help protect you as an online consumer. When transacting with these, you’ll only need an email address or a wallet address to proceed with the transaction.
- Avoid making transactions with public computers
If you don’t have a personal computer, just use your phone when you’re transacting online. Using public computers can be risky as you don’t really know if what you’re using is secured with a good anti-virus software. It’s also hard to tell if someone is monitoring your activities online.
The same goes for connecting to places that offer public WiFi. There are now software products that can also track your online activities while you’re connected to a public WiFi. Just use your mobile data if the transaction can’t wait. As much as possible, make your online transactions if you know your connections are secured.
- Check the website’s security
Websites with good and strong security would usually take pride of it. Such websites would already claim that they have the top security software and would have security badges. If there’s none, you can always check the address bar of your browser.
If a website uses HTTPS instead of HTTP, it means that the website is well-protected and transactions will be encrypted. You can also click on the padlock icon that’s also located at the address bar of your browser to check how many cookies the website is using and if it’s still running with a certificate.