Shopping online is becoming an area of major growth for the economy. As financial strains continue to hit the high streets, more and more shoppers are purchasing their products online in order to make savings. However, it is imperative that any transaction done online is kept safe and secure in order to prevent cyber criminals from accessing your passwords and private banking information. There are a few things you can do to keep your payments online safe.
Change Your Passwords
One way to keep your payments secure is by regularly changing the passwords you use to log into shopping sites. This will help you if your details somehow fall in the wrong hands as the next time someone tries to log into your account, you will have changed the password. Try to stay away from easily guessed or recognizable series of numbers and if you have to write your passwords down, make sure you don’t leave the piece of paper anywhere that strangers can read it.
Look For Security Signs
When you are taken to a payment page online, you should see either a ‘lock’ symbol or ‘https’ at the beginning of the URL (rather than the standard ‘http’). If you see these signs then you can be sure that you are on a secure page and can go ahead with your transaction. If you do not see these symbols you should leave the page immediately before entering any of your data, as it is possible that other people will be able to see your details as you input them.
Use Reputable Retailers
Online stores like Amazon.com or Apple.com have a wide array of safety measures designed to deter criminals and keep purchases secure. If you are using sites like these, you are more likely to protect your financial information than if you are using a little known retailer that does not have such a good reputation. When shopping online, it is best to stick with the main players to protect your data.
Install Relevant Programs
You can also boost your security online by updating your computer with firewall and anti-virus programs. Firewalls are specifically designed to give you an extra element of security online and ensure the safe transfer of data between computers. Likewise, a good anti-virus program will protect your computer from attackers who are looking to get hold of your personal information.
Read the Agreement
Although it is tempting to simply skip past the agreements and contracts online retailers give you, you should take the time to read through each one of them. This will help inform you of exactly what relationship you are getting into with your retailer and will help you protect yourself in the event of a security breach.
You should also keep track of your spending on your bank accounts. Doing this will show you exactly where your money has gone and will highlight any errors or ‘lost’ money that has gone where it shouldn’t have.
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