These days, you can pay for almost anything online: products, services, tickets, holidays … even your next car, van or motorcycle. You can donate to charity, buy a driving licence or passport or pay to download, stream, play or gamble. It’s fast and convenient, but there are also risks attached, with cybercriminals doing all they can to divert
your money into their pockets. These tips are essential for protecting yourself and your finances online.
- Make sure shopping websites are authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly. Fraudsters can set up convincing websites with addresses spelled very similarly to the authentic one.
- Ensure that payment pages are secure, by checking that addresses begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. It is critical that you've done the previous step beforehand, because malicious actors are able to obtain a secure padlock for misspelled domain names.
- Don’t pay for anything by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know, however eager you are to buy. If it’s a fraud, it’s doubtful the bank will be able to recover or refund your money. The safest way to pay for anything is by a temporary credit card. Revolut allows you to generate
cards per transaction and even set a maximum amount that can be charged.
- Don’t make online payments when using Wi-Fi hotspots, as these may be either not secure or fake, and your transaction could be intercepted. Instead, use your data, a broadband dongle or VPN … or wait until you get home.
- Use strong, unique passwords for your email accounts. These can be created by using a password manager or five random words, with some characters replaced or added to with numbers and symbols.
- Enable two-factor authentication on online accounts that support it. AndOTP (Android) and Authy (Android and iOS) are both proper tools for this.
- If you receive an email, letter or phone call asking you to change payment details for a service, product or subscription, always call the company on the number you know to be correct, in case someone else is attempting to defraud you.
- Follow the simple tech basics of having up to date internet security software/apps loaded and running, and the latest updates to operating systems, software and apps. This could prevent getting infected by malware that diverts your online payments. More on this available on Watch Your Hack.
- Don’t click on attachments in unexpected emails or links in random emails, posts or texts. Doing so could result in your online payments being intercepted.
- Accept any additional security measures offered by your bank, as they will help to keep transactions safe.
- Fraudsters commonly advertise non-existent products, services, event tickets, travel, holidays, accommodation, gambling, gaming, used vehicles and much more. They use auction sites, social media, fake or copycat websites and even legitimate accommodation platforms. Don’t pay any money – even a deposit – unless you have thoroughly
researched the source and product/service concerned and found it to be authentic.
© 2019 h3artbl33d