Internet or Online Shopping is great! Why? It saves both, time and efforts. Plus, you get huge discounts and do not have to stand in long queues for paying bills. That said; some people still find online shopping unsafe. Let us see how can one overcome this fear and use his Credit/Debit cards safely.
Methods for using Credit cards and Debit cards are much similar but the method of using Online Banking service is a bit different from the Credit and Debit card method. There are some specific security tips and measures that you need to keep in mind for Online Banking. Hence we will consider ‘Credit and Debit Cards’ as one part and ‘Internet Banking’ as another.
Security Tips for using Credit and Debit cards safely:
1. Shop only on Authentic and Secure Websites
Firstly, one should use his/her credit and debit card only for authentic and trusted websites. If there is any kind of doubt regarding the website’s authentic nature it is better no to shop from that website. Also, if you find anything that catches your attention for example Improper website design, Spelling mistakes on the website, Incorrect colors in the logo of the brand or website stop immediately and do not proceed further.
2. Avoid Using Hyperlinks
Avoid using hyperlinks and buttons present on the website that guide you or link you to a payment gateway. It is much better and safer if you could type the website address instead.
3. Check for Verifications
Ensure that the website you are accessing has important details and information clearly displayed and highlighted. For example you should always look for symbols like ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘MasterCard SecureCode’. And you should also be able to find verifications such as ‘VeriSign Trusted’.
Almost every authentic website uses a ‘Secure Connection’ and shows the ‘Verification Seal/Certification’ from reputed security companies. Hence you should look for ‘https’ instead of the regular ‘http’ in the address bar.
5. Do not give away Personal Details
Always keep your important and private information a secret. Do not give away important card details like the Card Number, CVV Number, Username and Password that validates the card to any third party/vendor or a merchant. All these details should be filled by you in order to avoid unauthorized access to your card details in your absence.
6. Use Credit Cards instead of Debit Cards
Whenever possible, use your Credit Card for online shopping and transactions. Avoid using a debit card because most fraudulent charges on Credit Cards can easily be disputed, but it would be difficult to do that in case of Debit Cards as the money is automatically deducted from your bank account.
7. Use Installments Option when available
Whenever you have the option of paying an amount in installments use it because, they mostly have a 0% charge. Thus, you feel much safe as you pay only in parts rather than paying the whole amount. Plus, you get your product!
8. Do not reply fake Emails and Calls
If you ever receive an email from your bank asking you for your Credit Card details, never answer back to them. Delete all such emails immediately. This is because your bank will never ask you for your Personal Details via email or via phone. So even if you do get a phone call from your bank asking for your personal details, it is better to inform your bank authorities and cross-check with them. If, at all the call is from bank it is permissible to give them the necessary information since you know that the call is legitimate.
9. Always check your Card Statements
Always keep your credit card statements safe. Check your Card Statements every time you receive them and make sure that there are no unauthorized charges and transactions made. Once checked and confirmed, dispose off your statements completely.
10. Read the Terms and Conditions properly
When you make any online transaction or purchase, there are some ‘Terms and Conditions’ always provided by the Merchant or the Seller. These ‘Terms and Conditions’ also have details about ‘What would happen if anything goes wrong’ and ‘How and When are you eligible to ask for a refund’ etc. Hence make it a point to always read them carefully.
11. Always Print your Order Details
It is always a good practice to get a ‘Physical Printout’ of the Transaction that you have just made. Even though you do get a copy of the Invoice in your email, it is good that you print it because it contains all the Important Details of the Transaction and the Terms and Conditions as well.
12. Please Be Smart
There are times when you will see offers on the internet that are totally unbelievable. Offers that offer you products at very low prices. When something like this happens, be smart enough to understand that this might be a scam !!
Security Tips for safely using Online Banking
The Safety Tips for Credit/Debit Cards and Online Banking are almost similar. Hence most of the Safety Tips for Credit and Debit Cards are also applicable for Online Banking. For example even in case of Online Banking you should not give away your Login Credentials to any third party, you should always look out for Verification Symbols, you should ensure that the connection is a secure connection hence it should have ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ etc.
In this section, I will be covering safety tips that are important when you specifically use Online Banking.
1. Use Virtual Keyboard whenever necessary
Many times it might happen that you are not at home and have to use a different computer for Online Banking. It could be your friend’s place, a Cyber Café or an Office etc. Hence, in such cases use the ‘Virtual Keyboard’ option provided by the bank website in order to ensure that the Credentials you enter during your transaction will not be copied or accessed again from that computer.
2. Your Credentials should be ‘Handled with Care’
Your Online Banking ‘Username’ and ‘Password’ is all it takes for a hacker to hack your bank account. So it is very important that you ‘Handle them with care’. Do not write down your Username and Password in places and on things that might easily be accessed by other people.
It is always better to be ‘Safe’ than to feel Sorry. Following the above Safety Tips will make your Online Experience fun, easy and ‘Safe’. You can enjoy the benefits of Online Shopping and Online Transactions as and when you like.