Dec 4, 2013 (Wed): The internet has made everything easier. From searching for answers to questions and finding out how to cook our favorite dish, from connecting with our friends and loved ones that are far away to researching about a topic we find difficult to understand, the internet has made it possible for us to go on with our lives and do our daily tasks with sheer ease and convenience. And now, the internet has also made payments to our favorite stores easier, through the use of secure online payments. However, the existence of many scamming and phishing sites makes it hard to determine whether or not we are making secure online payments.
Here is a guide of easy steps to follow so you can be sure you’re making secure online payments:
1. Make Sure You’re Dealing with a Trusted Brand.
- Before starting any transactions, be sure that the website you’ll use for making payments is secure. To know if the company/website you’re buying from is reliable, be sure to look for a listed street address, and not just a post office box. A company will also be more credible if it lists a customer service contact number, and if there is a return and refund policy offered. It would also be best if you can look if the merchant has partnered with any trusted organizations such as PayPal, Truste, and so forth.
2. Look for a Secure Check-out Page.
- Paying online means making sure that your transaction is secure. You can look for a lock icon on your web browser that indicates that the site provides users with secure technology. Another tip is to check the address of your browser. A secure site’s url should begin with “https” rather than “http.” The additional “s” is an indication that the site you’re visiting is secure.
3. Use a Trusted Third Party System.
- If you’re not sure about the site you’re browsing and you’re hesitant on making direct online payments with your credit card, then it’s better if you just sign up through a third party system to pay for certain goods and services. These third party systems are external sites that can link to your bank account to perform secure transactions. The advantage of using these sites is that they won’t share your personal details to another website. Upon using these sites, you’ll usually see a redirect to a site that will ask you for your user ID and password. After filling out your details, you’ll find yourself back on the original page, and you’ll see that your order has been approved. An example of these systems is PayPal, one of the most trusted and preferred forms of payment on the web.
4. Use Your Credit Card to Make Online Payments.
- If you own a credit card from one of the most trusted credit card providers, you’ll be assured of protection against any dubious or fraudulent transactions made with your credit card. Of course, full precaution is still advised before making any online transactions.
5. Make Sure that the Site Uses SSL.
- Another way of ensuring that you’re making secure payments, especially if you’ll be giving out sensitive details from your credit card, is if the site has SSL certificates installed. Among companies that provide SSL certifications include VeriSign and Globalsign. Having an SSL certificate on a site signifies that it is ready to initiate secure sessions with the browsers. Once a secure connection has been established, the transactions that will pass through the web server and the browser will be secure.
With lots of hackers and scammers trying to trick you into being careless with your details, it’s best to be sure you’re making secure online payments. Apart from practicing the tips mentioned above, you should just trust your own instinct and take the time to research before making any rash decisions to purchase any items online.
By Gilbert Bermudez, who writes for CompareHero, Malaysia’s leading credit card comparison website. Loves fishing, swimming and a hobbyist.