As the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced people behind locked doors, most of them now prefer to perform their transactions online. Even though the eCommerce industry has been growing at a rapid pace for the last few years, especially in 2020, more and more people are shopping online for essential goods and non-essential goods as well.
Although technology has now made it safer to conduct transactions online, cybercriminals are still out there and are always on the lookout for any weakness that might help them gain access to your private and personal information. That is why the importance of good security practices cannot be denied.
In this guide, we will help you understand how to keep your business transactions secure online:
Use an Encrypted Network
Situation: Whenever you carry online transactions, you need to add your confidential and sensitive information, such as your phone number, residential address, and your credit card number, online.
Problem: The main problem with this is that this information can land in the wrong hands, particularly when you are using public WiFi in cafes and hotels, or if your home internet connection isn’t encrypted. This gives cybercriminals a chance to view your important information and spy or misuse your online activities.
Solution: The best thing to keep yourself protected is to download VPN or a Virtual Private Network. A VPN can keep all your transaction and important information encrypted so that cybercriminals cannot hack into your account or are unable to interpret the information.
Set a Strong Password
Situation: When we are in a hurry to make an account, we often use a password that is easy to remember or which we have used before.
Problem: The problem with weak or obvious passwords is that it makes it easy for hackers to hack into your account and take charge of your information and transactions away from you.
Solution: Creating a complex and strong password is the easiest way to protect yourself from external threats. Make sure your password does not contain your name or birth date. Use something that only you know about or something that another person would never guess at. It is important that you use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters in your password. Most good websites will immediately let you know whether your password is weak or strong.
Add Two-Factor Authentication
Situation: Several websites offer you the option of two-factor authentication, which is an extra level of security on top of a password. So even if you like to quickly log on to a website, adding two-factor authentication is something you need to take the time out for.
Problem: Hackers have a knack for guessing or stealing your passwords and compromising the security of your online account. Even if a criminal is able to find out your user ID and password, there should be a way for you to keep the private information of your account inaccessible.
Solution: That solution is two-factor authentication. This process involves providing two means of identification. One is the user ID and password that you typically offer, but the other is an autogenerated code sent to the user on their verified phone. So even if your password is cracked, they won’t be able to gain access to your account without the code that only you have. This code also expires after a short time so there is no use trying to steal it as well.
Shop on Secure eCommerce Websites
Situation: There are a plethora of online websites out there where you can shop from, including Amazon, Etsy, Barnes and Nobles, AliExpress, IKEA, and more. Everyone knows that these websites are reputable and have security features to ensure a safe buying process — but not every website is like that.
Problem: There are millions of websites online where people buy and sell products and services. However, not all of them are legitimate and many people become victims of scams when buying from these sites.
Solution: That is why it is important that you only buy from well-known and reputable websites. Make sure that the website you buy from has a good security policy and is PCI-compliant. Reliable websites have an SSL certificate, which validates the identity of a user and ensures the transfer of encrypted data. Also, make sure there is a padlock symbol before the URL and the URL starts with an “HTTPS”, which indicates secure communication over the internet. These factors are proof that the website is committed to securing their transactions and it is safe to do business with them.
Keep Your Software Updated
Situation: Our phones are filled with mobile-only apps or app versions of frequently visited websites, which contain sensitive information. It is important that we keep these apps constantly updated.
Problems: Apps that are outdated consist of bugs, vulnerabilities, loopholes, and are susceptible to malware. This means the customer’s information is not protected and any unpatched app or extension is an easy target for hackers looking for a way in.
Solution: Therefore, it is very important that you install all updates of your web apps. Always stay one step ahead of cybercriminals by opting for the automatic systems update that will quickly replace your older app version with the newer app version that repairs vulnerabilities. This will keep your transactions safe even if you forgot to download important protection.
For every business, their customer is king. Therefore, their security is paramount. As a business, it is your job to ensure your customers get all the features they require to make a secure transaction. As a customer, it is your job to make sure you make use of these protections for the security of your information.
With a bit of care, you can make online transactions a smooth and safe process for yourself.