The development of online payment systems has been taking massive steps over the last decade. With just a few clicks - or even your fingerprint - you can get a new couch, a new console or pay for any kind of entertainment service online straight from the palm of your hand. The convenience of online payments has many advantages and it has made our lives much easier, but there are also some risks to be aware of. No need to worry though! With our list of tips for safe online shopping and secure payments, your shopping experience will remain as fun and safe as it should be.
Online Payment Security
First things first, what is online payment security? It's not only about ensuring safe payments while making an online transaction, but it’s also about keeping yourself financially safe. There are many payment options out there, so to diminish risks use the following tips to stay safe on both accounts!
1. Only Purchase From Merchants You Trust
Before making a purchase from a website you don’t know, always double-check the reliability of the company before paying. But how do you check if the online payment website you’re using is secure? Easy!
- Check the score of the company on Trustpilot.
- Google the merchant to see if there are any bad reviews or people experiencing issues with the payments, delivery, returns, etc.
- Double-check the website address before paying.
Note: even the most serious companies can once in a while have unsatisfied customers. Look at the overall score and not at single reviews to get the clearest picture.
2. Make Sure the Connection Ensures Safe Transactions
To keep your personal data safe, you should always check how secure an ecommerce platform is. By purchasing something from a website without a secure connection, sensitive information could be compromised. Just follow 3 easy rules to ensure a secure connection:
Look for a padlock next to the website address in the browser. You can also click on the padlock to see if the connection is secure and if the site has a valid certification.
Make sure the website address starts with https:// (the s stands for secure).
Do not use a public Wi-Fi connection while making an online transaction. Hackers can easily get access to your usernames and passwords through open networks.
3. Use Credit Cards That Offer Extra Fraud Protection
Credit cards are one of the most-used payment methods in the world. Each day there are over 1.01 billion credit card transactions. They are accepted worldwide and offer more thorough fraud protection compared to other payment methods, such as debit cards and bank transfers. Why?
- Instead of sending the money directly from your checking account, it is sent later by your bank. The credit card issuers have sophisticated tools that monitor, detect and combat fraud at every step of the purchasing process. If they notice suspicious behavior or recognize a high-risk transaction they have the opportunity to cancel the transaction.
- You are also not liable for fraudulent charges. In other words, if someone steals your credit card details and uses them without your permission, you are covered. In most cases, you won't get charged at all once fraud is identified, but if you get charged it’s only a small amount.
Remember to always block your card immediately if it gets stolen and report any kind of fraudulent activity, both to the card issuer and the police.
4. Pay Safe With Prepaid Payment Cards
Prepaid cards or vouchers are one of the safest ways to pay online. Users can pay discretely and without the risk of overspending. As you don´t need to reveal your personal bank or credit card details, prepaid cards are almost like paying with cash online. Buy or recharge your card and spend only the money loaded onto it. The digital code or PIN is sent directly via email and within a few seconds, you are ready for secure online payments. Without application processes and bank agreements. From prepaid payment cards and crypto vouchers to e-wallet top-ups - there is a wide range of prepaid payment options to choose from. Difficult to find the right one? Learn more about the different payment cards and which option is the best for you.
5. Give Your Kids Prepaid Gift Cards For Their Online Payments
Most parents can agree that kids these days are spending a ton of time online. You are not alone if the phrase “I need to top up my account” is on repeat in your home. As well as the constant request for in-app credits, games, and other entertainment services purchases. Regardless of your parenting style - by using gift cards to top up these accounts, you keep sensitive credit card information safe and minimize the risk of unexpected spending.
6. Use The “Pay Later” Option
Picture this: you have been searching for a new jacket for ages and finally found the perfect one at a website you never ordered from before. You are not sure about the size and don´t want to pay too much before knowing for sure it will fit. Paying by invoice is a great solution as you can order several sizes to try on and return before paying. If you use one of the bigger companies, such as Klarna or Afterpay, they have their own fraud department, which is an added layer of security when making an online transaction from an unknown merchant. They check all merchants before approving them into their system and can also help you should a problem arise.
This is how it works:
- Select the products and sizes you want and add them to your shopping cart.
- Select the invoice or pay later option as your payment method at checkout and confirm your order.
- After you received the products and decided what to keep and/or return, you return them according to the instructions of the merchant.
- When your return is received, the value of the returned products will be deducted from the invoice.
- Pay the remaining amount within the due date, which is usually 14-30 days after you received your products. Depending on the merchant, the invoice is sent by email, by post or together with the products.
7. Choose The Payment Method You Are Most Comfortable With
There are plenty of payment methods to choose from. Always select the option you feel most secure using and immediately cancel the transaction if you feel pressured into a method you are not comfortable with. Ideally, a company will offer several options providing every user the method they are most familiar with. Dundle, for example, accepts 68 payment methods. Whether it’s PayPal, credit card, prepaid payment card or anything else - choose the option most comfortable for you.
8. Avoid Common Payment Scams
Since the pandemic, we are spending more time than ever online and the amount of online payments has significantly increased. We work online, we meet online, we shop online. As we depend more on digital communication, cyber crimes are on the rise, including phishing and online scams with gift cards. Remember that gift cards are never a legitimate payment method other than on the official website where they can be redeemed. If someone is pressuring you to pay them via gift card, be aware it is most likely not a legitimate transaction.
9. Keep Your Devices Safe and Passwords Updated
Last but not least, make sure to keep your devices and accounts safe. To do so:
- Keep your software and antivirus protection up-to-date.
- Update your passwords regularly and include both uppercase, lowercase, numbers and characters to make it as hard as possible for hackers to guess.
- Never allow your credit card number to be “remembered” by or stored on an online shopping site. Therefore, turn off the autofill function in your browser settings.
- Never link a credit card to devices used by young children.
A lot to remember? We hear you! But rest assured, with these tips and the help of prepaid payment cards, you can pay confidently knowing you are doing all you can to protect yourself and your finances while online. Happy (safe) shopping!