eCommerce and e-business continue to impact our lives on a greater scale with each passing day, and will continue at an even greater pace into the future. As such the relevance of our cyber security continues to be of paramount importance to all of us whether we give it the necessary attention or not. Many may consider themselves to be seasoned online shoppers with a good sense of security but a little reminder is always good. Here are a few online fraud prevention tips you should find useful
1) Keep your computer updated
You might not be a technical buff, but there are the basic updates that are necessary to keep your operating system updated and less vulnerable to cyber criminals. Be sure to do those updates when invited to do so. You should also ensure you run the necessary antivirus and malware scans as recommended by your antivirus software.
2) Keep it private – avoid using public Wi-Fi to make purchases
Public Wi-Fi networks do not offer robust protection and leave room for cyber criminals to access your passwords, log in details and financial information. If you must shop on the go it is better advised to turn on your data and do so via your cellular network.
3) Look for padlock symbol in address bar
If you are going to use your credit card on a website look for that little green padlock. Such sites use what is called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology that encrypts your information and in effect restricts other computers that can access your information and limit access to you and your vendor exclusively.
4) Make better passwords
I know it could be difficult to remember the many passwords that have now become a part of everyday life but we need to make sure they are smartly created to add that extra layer of protect
ion. It is suggested that you include numbers, symbols, and caps in your password and to make them about 8-10 characters at least unless otherwise prompted. To help me remember my complex passwords I try to make it logical so that it spells a real word while replacing some letters with relative symbols. So let’s say I want my password to be “password” I can probably use the combination P@$$w0rD to make it complex while making it a bit easier to remember.
5) Turn on two-step verification where available
This gives you an extra layer of protection beyond your logon and password.
6) Buyer Beware
If it looks too good to be true it probably isn’t. Go ahead and look for those killer deals but be careful of vendors that are a little too generous. Do a bit of research on that vendor before making your purchase and end up having regrets. You can start by checking for their physical address and telephone number this in itself does not confirm legitimacy, but I am sure you would agree that where such information is not supplied it will sound a loud alarm.
7) One device, one credit card, one email address
Avoid using multiple credit cards to do your online purchases since it makes things easier for you to track and gives you greater control while reducing your chances of becoming a victim of online fraud.
Likewise avoid using various
devices. If you must be sure to log out from every page and be aware of every site that asks to save your information especially if that computer is likely to be used by others such as a public computer or in the work place. Be careful in the use of your smartphones as well. Always be sure to keep it secure with a password, PIN or pattern lock and that it is set to lock within seconds of inactivity.
It may be a good idea also to have one email address dedicated for your online shopping. Again, it reduces risk and helps you when it comes to control. You also have less chance of receiving malicious emails and spam and if you do they will be easier to recognize.
8) Use credit card instead of debit cards
With a credit card you have a credit limit, but with a debit card the limit is as deep as your bank account. Also you stand a good chance of recovering fraudulent charges to your account, but money fraudulently drawn via your debit card is difficult to recover if ever.
9) Use online payment services such as PayPal
To limit the number of persons to whom you send your credit card information you may use online payment services such as PayPal, Bill Me Later, and Pay Simple for a nominal fee. These services keep your credit card information stored on a secured server, and then let you make payments to retailers without revealing your credit card information. PayPal also claims that they monitor all user accounts for suspicious activity which should give you greater peace of mind.
10) Check your credit card statements often
You should make it a habit of checking your credit statements every month or even more frequently. This of course is a good way to track your transactions and detect fraudulent activity. Once detected you should report to your credit card company at your earliest opportunity.
Online fraud is something we should always be cognizant of. Despite the many efforts to make our online experience a safe one there are always those who seek to take advantage of our naivety and ignorance. The tips mentioned above will not guarantee your safety but will go a long way in mitigating the chances of you falling victim to online fraud.
I trust you found this article useful. Looking for a great idea to get you started online? I invite you to visit my blog http://www.clickmentore.com for more articles and resources to help you along your journey.
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