The convenience brought about by online banking and digital payments is being enjoyed by more consumers these days. This is based on information from the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index (for the period covering the second half of 2016).
Not surprisingly, many of regular online shoppers and banking customers do not observe basic measures to protect them from possible online fraud. Thus, global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab offers this dozen of effective tips to ensure your safety whenever you are making transactions over the internet.
- Manually type URL of your online bank instead of clicking on any link you may find in an email message, posts on social network sites, messages in messenger services, banner ads on unfamiliar websites, or links sent to you by unknown/untrusted people.
- Avoid engaging with fake communications. Remember that banks and other financial organizations do not send emails just to ask their customers to share personal data, visit their website for any authorization, or enter personal information in pop-up windows.
- Check the URL of the site you are making transactions with. If you need to enter confidential or personal data, be sure the web address is familiar to you, is verified correct, and is not comprising of just any random selection of letters or numbers.
- To be safe, be sure the URL prefix is ‘https,’ which indicates a secure website. Safe sites also usually display a small lock icon at the address bar or the status bar of the browser. Click on that lock icon to see the SSL authentication certificate of the site.
- Use your own PC and a secured and exclusive internet connection when doing important cashless transactions. Use your personal computer at home or office when accessing online banking services or purchasing from an online site. You may not be aware but PCs in internet cafés, clubs, airports, libraries, and hotels may have spyware programs that can record anything you key in using the keyboard, including user names and passwords. And resist the temptation to connect to any public Wi-Fi network to avoid the risk of falling as victim of a possible network or administrator interception by cyber criminals.
- Refrain from using your main debit or credit card when making online transactions. It would be advisable to have a special card or electronic account that you may choose specifically for online purchases. Restrict your credit card limit or hold only a small amount in your online debit card.
- Read actual customers’ reviews about any online shopping site before making an online purchase.
- Stay away from untrustworthy websites. Do not transact with online retailers whose sites are registered with free hosting services.
- Use a ‘Whols’ IP service to get more information about a domain. You would determine how a site’s domain has been up and to whom it is registered.
- Install the latest updates of your PC’s operating system and of all the applications you use. This way, you can prevent or eliminate vulnerabilities through malware and other forms of attacks.
- Keep your PC’s firewall active. As an added precaution, you may also run application or software-based firewalls.
- Always protect your PC from malware and online security risks. Anti-malware solutions like the Kaspersky Internet Security can provide reliable protection against PC viruses, Trojan infections, worms, and more.