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Why Online Payments have to be Secure

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Online payments using public networks are usually unsecure. Let’s have a look at the reasons why public networks are unsecure for online payments…

Online users expect flawless online payment checkout experience with an assurance that their personal and financial information is safe, apart from the convenience. The Internet and evolution of online payment technology has opened new doors for all kind of e-business in various sectors where people did not have to pay with cash. However, with every new advancement, especially in Information Technology, come new challenges that all the stakeholders involved must face and respond to.

Challenges
In online payments, apart from convenience, information security plays a critical role in the amount of trust a person places on the digital ecosystem.

There are new and never-ending security risks and ever-refined ways of digital thefts and online frauds emerging in the cyberspace where spammers, hackers and online fraudsters have easy access to technology. Several online fraudsters invest their time finding vulnerabilities in systems and loopholes in processes to get people to part with information. Their means of earning quick money and duping people across have increased. In India, duping online users is easier as a staggering number of people are new to digital payments and unaware of its potential dangers.

Statistics
According to Experian’s Digital Consumer Insights 2018 report, 9 out of 10 Indians are consumers of digital services. In India, 1 in every 4 of them has been the victim of online frauds. And yet, a majority of them have refused to switch their service providers, respectively 57% in telecom companies, 54% in banks and 46% in retailers.

The report also specifies that 50% Indians are most comfortable sharing data with banks and an almost equal percentage are willing to share personal data to avail of service offerings.

Best Security Practices
In cyber world, one cannot afford to be naïve. To safeguard oneself from fraud, here are a few security practices to follow while making online transaction.

Don’t connect to free Wi-Fi services: Free Wi-Fi connections may be quite appealing and tempting to try on, especially when you are travelling. But when you are on public Wi-Fi networks, be careful of what you log into. You can never know who is accessing your data remotely using wireless spoofing software. Avoid making any financial transactions over free Wi-Fi network.

If you detect any suspicious activity in your financial account while you are travelling, immediately inform your bank or financial service provider to avoid any further online transactions.

Don’t click on links from unknown sources: If you get a suspicious e-mail/SMS with a link, you should verify the source, or even better, avoid clicking on the link altogether. Don’t download any file from an unverified or unknown source.

Keep your devices updated: As technology changes constantly, it is your prerogative and responsibility to update your devices such as computers and smart devices. Keep your device’s Operating System up to date and use genuine Anti-virus protection software.

Guarding Your Personal Information
As customers tends to trust organizations, online fraudsters posing as representative of a bank or financial institution use vishing as a common technique and asks for sensitive information like OTP, CVV, Internet banking credentials etc.

Crucial personal and financial information is requested usually on the pretext/threat that your account/card will get blocked if you do not comply, or with tempting offers that make the intended victims shed their guard and common sense. Some of the fraudsters go as far as to meet you in person to get information. This becomes easier when fraudsters mention your personal data like birthdate, mother’s name etc. to authenticate themselves. One must remember this information is easily accessible in public domains like social media.

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