Most of us use online payment gateways and visit our banks more often virtually than in person. But a lot of the information you view and input on the internet is not as safe as you think it is. In fact, by running a simple Google search, you will come across several tutorials on how to easily bypass firewalls and other security measures. It is therefore very important that you take precautions to protect your money when you transact online.
Beware of phishing emails
If you browse through your spam folder, you might see many emails that request for your bank details to keep your account active or tell you that you’ve won prize money or $100,000 in a lottery. These are commonly known as phishing emails. Similarly, unscrupulous people prey on web users by sending emails requesting them to login to a particular website. These web pages resemble legitimate websites like eBay, PayPal or bank websites. Many people do not question the authenticity of the site, and attempt to login with their username and password, which become visible to the hacker. Using this login information, anybody can withdraw money from your account.
Use a dedicated sub-account for online transactions
Setting up a sub-account for online transactions is a great way to prevent others from gaining access to your money even if they have your password. Open an online sub-account with a $0 balance and link it to your primary account. Keep a small amount in the sub-account to make online payments, and fund it whenever the need arises. Once you make the payment, your account goes back to its near $0 balance. So even if an online thief was to hack this account, you would hardly lose anything.
Use a single credit card for online payments
If you’re using two or three credit cards for online payments, your risk will be quite high, as all of them will be exposed. By using a single low-limit credit card for online purchases and using the other cards for offline purchases, you can significantly reduce this risk. Make the payment for this credit card manually. If your statement contains any fraudulent charges and your bill is automatically paid off, you will have a tougher time disputing the unauthorized charges.
You should also check the credentials of websites before you make a payment. In case of any doubt, ask for a phone number and call to verify their authenticity.