Security Tips For Making Online Payments : With the advent of the Internet, busy consumers can find exactly what they want – no matter what it is – with just a click of their mouse. But with the convenience of online shopping comes questions and concerns regarding the safety of your personal information. How do you know if a particular retailer is reputable? And how can you protect yourself against fraud and identity theft? Here are ten security tips to help keep you safe when making online payments.
- Look for encrypted URLs, which have “https” instead of the simple “http” at the beginning of the URL. The “s” indicates digital transmissions originating from the site (such as your credit card information, which is sent to the payment gateway) is encrypted and secure. A reputable online retailer will encrypt the site page where you enter all your payment information.
- Search for security logos or seals, such as those offered by security providers like VeriSign and McAfee. Click on the seal to validate its legitimacy.
- Another indication that a website is secure is an icon of a lock in the lower right-hand corner of your browser.
- Leave the site if you receive a pop-up from your computer or anti-virus software warning you the site may be harmful to your computer.
- Use security software designed to keep malware from infecting your computer. Be sure to regularly install all recommended updates to ensure the latest security patches are installed.
- Avoid clicking on any dubious or spam links on the website, which may be phishing for your personal information or forward you to potentially harmful websites.
- Use a credit card to make online payments. Under the Truth in Lending Act, your maximum liability for an unauthorized purchase on your credit card is only $50. Plus, most reputable credit card providers (such as American Express) offer comprehensive protection for their customers against fraudulent purchases made with their card.
- Never make purchases on websites you are not familiar with. Anyone can setup a fake website to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
- Use a current, updated browser that supports private and secure online transactions.
- When in doubt, don’t make online payments on a website that you deem questionable!
Micah Waters: online payments