You can do anything you like online these days. There’s no denying the internet makes doing daily tasks such as shopping far simpler, but it does come with its own risks. Here, we’ll be looking at how you can protect your personal information and finances while you browse the web.
Why Do People Make Online Payments?
Although there are a variety of things you can do online for free, some of the most popular online pastimes require you to transfer money and/or enter banking information. Online shopping is the most popular example of this, with millions of people buying goods, services, fashion and other amenities online. According to a report published by Statista, an incredible $178 billion was spent at Amazon alone during 2017, and that’s just one of the big online retailers.
Of course, online shopping isn’t the only reason people make financial transactions online. Recently, people have been using sites like Coinbase to purchase cryptocurrencies, digital money made specifically for the internet. Over the last decade, online gaming has also become incredibly popular, specifically online casinos and bingo sites. As many of these sites require you to make an online deposit in order to play, most sites offer a variety of payment methods, such as PayPal and pre-paid debit cards, just like responsible online shopping portals.
These are just some examples of why people make online transactions, and we’re sure there are many more out there. Whatever the reason, it is crucial that any payments you make online are secure and being handled by trustworthy, responsible websites.
Doing Your Research Could Save You Time & Money
While it would be easier to stick with big brands and well-known sites, they may not always have exactly what you’re looking for. Plus, there are thousands of websites out there that would love to have you as a customer, so not all smaller businesses should be ignored entirely. However, before committing to any monetary transfers or even giving up personal information, it is crucial that you research the site you plan on using.
Start by searching for negative feedback on sites like TrustPilot, as a site that deserves your business should already be building a popular reputation. Secondly, check the URL of your site of choice to see if there’s a padlock depicted either before or after the web address. As Slot Machines explains in their article on the importance of safe gaming, this icon represents Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), a process that encrypts user information and keeps it safe.
Personal Responsibility & Security Are Just As Important
Of course, all of the responsibility for keeping your information safe should be placed on websites. You must also keep yourself protected by ensuring your computer software and anti-virus protection is up-to-date. Sure, it might take a while to get everything updated but those instalments ensure that any holes cyber criminals have found in the past will be completely patched up. Also, make sure that your passwords are as strong as possible so that no one can enter any of your accounts, right from your email account straight up to your banking account.
Finally, try to avoid using public Wi-Fi to make online payments, as these will never be anywhere near as secure as your own personal home Wi-Fi should be. Anyone can access public Wi-Fi, meaning that security is usually incredibly lax no matter how gadget-heavy your smartphone may be.
So, ensure you research the sites you plan on using and take the time to build your own defences as this will make it incredibly difficult for any fraudsters to get your information. Even if you’re a seasoned online shopper and gamer, never forget these crucial tips and you’ll stay safe.