In this era of technological advancement and fast-paced lifestyle where our other daily activities are moving online for ease and comfort, so are our payment methods. Online payment methods like Apple Pay, PayPal etc. have made our lives much easier, but at the same time have raised security concerns about their credibility due to the increasing amount of fraudulent activities regarding online payments. These frauds can be avoided by a secure payment method and a few must-follow practices while paying online.
In this article, we are going to raise awareness of how to tell if an online payment method is safe enough to use, along with the must-follow golden rules to ensure safe and secure online payments.
9 Points to consider to ensure the security of an online payment method
1. PCI DSS Compliance
A payment method compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard ensures a great deal of security. PCI DSS was introduced by major credit card networks to prevent fraudulent online activities with online payments. Payment Card Industry Data Security Council makes and enforces a set of rules and regulations to reduce credit card fraud.
To be PCI compliant, a payment gateway must use and maintain firewalls, must have proper password protections, protect cardholder data, encrypt transmitted data, use and support anti-virus, use properly updated software, restrict data access, provide unique IDs for access, restrict physical access, create and keep access logs, scan and test for vulnerabilities and document policies. All these requirements make a PCI-compliant payment method robust and safe.
2. Ensured Data Encryption
Implementation of data encryption ensures the integrity and security of financial and other sensitive personal information details stored by payment methods. Data encryption protects personal data and financial details and minimizes the risk of falling into the wrong hands. It also protects data from hackers who conduct fraudulent activities after getting their hands on private financial information details. So, ensured data encryption enhances the security and credibility of an online payment method.
3. Implementation of Tokenization
Like data encryption, tokenization technology is also implemented to secure sensitive financial data by secure online payment methods. This technology replaces sensitive financial data with tokens of non-sensitive data. In this way, even if a data breach occurs and tokens are compromised, they cannot be used for fraudulent activities. Payment methods that implement this technology are more secure than others.
4. Enforcement of Safe & Secure Login Systems
A secure online payment method always considers a secure login process. For this, they utilize HTTPS protocol; otherwise, the sensitive data would fall into the wrong hands. Implementation of an SSL certificate also serves this purpose as it provides encryption. In case a user forgets their password, they are provided with an easy and secure password retrieval process.
5. Updated Networks & Operating Systems
Outdated operating systems and networks are full of vulnerabilities and could easily be manipulated and compromised by hackers through viruses and malware. Hackers come with new techniques regularly. So, a payment gateway with updated networks and operating systems regarding security remains safe and secure from the cyberattacks by these hackers.
6. Security Assessment
One of the best ways to ensure the security of an online payment method is through security assessments of systems and networks. Security assessment companies proficient in cybersecurity are hired to do the job. Ethical hackers of these companies find loopholes in the systems by conducting penetration testing manually. After these tests, they provide consultation to enhance security. Online payment methods that regularly conduct these assessments are more secure and free from exploitations.
7. Address Verification Service (AVS)
Address Verification Service (AVS) is used to detect suspicious Card Not Present (CNP) transactions where neither the card nor the cardholder is present at the time of transactions. This helps in putting a check on credit card fraud by matching the user billing address with the address associated with the card. In this way, credit card details are used to reduce card fraud by hackers.
8. Keeping Past Fraudulent Activities Information
A secure payment method that keeps the security of financial information at their top priority maintains a database of fraudulent activities done in the past to see the patterns of anything similar happening. This way, they protect their user’s data before a breach happens.
9. 3D Secure Authentication
3D Secure Authentication is a messaging protocol used to verify Card Not Present (CNP) transactions where neither the card nor the cardholder is present at the time of transactions. This authentication process involves three domains; your bank, the technology that processes those online transactions, and the issuing bank. In this way, card payment methods support the security of online payments.
10 Must-follow practices to be safe and secure while paying online
1. Keep Browser and Operating System Updated
An updated browser and operating system has all the patches for security and hence is not vulnerable to cyber-attacks as compared to an outdated system. Therefore, it is always recommended to keep your system up to date while paying online.
2. Deal with Reputed Websites
Always make sure that you share your financial information details with reputed websites only. These reputed websites, such as many 1 deposit casinos, use the secure HTTPS protocol and an SSL certificate to ensure encryption and secure connection. The padlock symbol before the URL ensures that the website is reputed and secure. So, always look for it while making a payment online. Many e-commerce websites use an EV SSL certificate that turns their URL bar green, which is also a sign that the website you are dealing with is reputed, safe, and secure.
3. Use dedicated PC & Email
It is recommended that you use a dedicated PC and an Email if your transaction’s volume is high. Having a clean dedicated system free from viruses and malware ensures safe and secure payments. In the same way, having a dedicated email is a good idea as it would remain free from clutter and suspicious phishing emails. This way ensures the security of online payments.
4. Avoid 3rd party Apps you don’t trust
Nowadays, hackers get into devices through apps. In this way, they install viruses and malware into your device and exploit it. Make sure you don’t install any app that you don’t trust. This common but important practice ensures the security of your sensitive financial data as well as your online payments.
5. Avoid using public computers & Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi and public computers are not secure. They are easy targets for hackers as their hardware and software can be exploited easily. So, whenever you are performing an online transaction, make sure you are not using either public Wi-Fi or a public computer.
6. Use advanced anti-malware programs
Usually, hackers get into your system by viruses and malware programs. They use these programs to exploit your system and even the sensitive information you exchange with other websites. So, to avoid becoming a victim of these attacks, always use an advanced anti-virus or anti-malware program. These programs are designed to cope with security issues like these breaches. So, it is recommended to have one for safe and secure online payments.
7. Use credit cards instead of debit cards
It is always advised to use a credit card from a reputed credit card company to pay for online shopping than a debit card. The reason is credit cards offer more robust security features to protect you from fraud than debit cards. And they are not linked to your bank account. Moreover, they have a limit on them, so you are saved to a much more degree in case of fraud. That’s why one-time credit cards are recommended for online shopping. On the other hand, a debit card linked to your bank account doesn’t provide security features as a credit card does. So, by debit cards, not only your financial information details could be compromised, but it could also be used to make you poor.
8. Avoid falling prey to fraudulent emails
Beware of phishing emails full of lottery schemes waiting in your mailbox to turn your life upside down. These emails contain links that, upon clicking, can compromise your system by installing malware programs. So, identify these emails and mark them as spam.
9. Beware of suspicious links
Malicious links are designed with black hat SEO techniques to redirect you to an insecure website, and then from that website, malicious programs are installed on your PC to take it under control and then use it for fraud. So, it’s always recommended typing a URL in the address bar and not click on a link that looks perfect for suspicious activity.
10. Use a password manager
Don’t use a common password or the same password for all accounts, as compromising one account could lead to compromising all accounts. So, it is always recommended to either use strong and uncommon or a password manager.
As we all know, there will be more technological advancements in the coming years, and more and more of our activities and businesses will be shifted online, so there is no escape from making online payments. But the good news is that we can be more vigilant to online frauds and practices to counteract them so that we could live a peaceful life.