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Learn How to Recognize a Safe Online Transaction

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Online shopping and money transfers sure are convenient. Any desired product is just a few clicks away, and we can use lightning speed digital lanes to send cash across the globe. The security measures are getting more and more sophisticated, and the security bar is rising. The only problem is that the threats and scams are also keeping up the pace, and can always find the smallest gap in the security fence. There are many dark areas where your money or personal information can get stolen or lost. Since you cannot count on good intentions of others, make an effort to protect yourself.

Better safe than sorry

First and foremost, one must use a secure connection. This refers to the encrypted exchange of information between the web browser and the site being used to make a transaction. Such a communication means that the information must be encrypted on your computer and decrypted once it reaches the service provider’s website. Now, encryption does not imply that your transaction is completely safe. The information cannot be read or tempered by usual means, but someone can crack the code to access it.

Moreover, encryption does not automatically make the website trustworthy. You still have no idea on how it distributes and uses personal data. It is possible that a third party can see that you are connecting to the certain website, and what you are doing there. This is a scenario you want to avoid at all costs. That is why it is best to have several layers of protection when sending money over the internet. So, see whether there is padlock icon next to the site’s address in your Security Status bar.  Note that you can click on this lock to confirm the identity of the website.

What is more, the color of the Security Bar tells you a lot about the validity of the certificate issued by the certifying organization. Green suggests that the communication with the site in question is encrypted and that the certificate authority has been confirmed. On the other hand, you do not want to end up in the red light district. You would be dealing with a certificate that is either out of date or invalid, and putting yourself at an unnecessary risk. If you have doubts about the identity of the website, you can also contact the certification agency, whose name appears in the Status Security bar.

At your service

Furthermore, remember that confirming the secure connection still does not enable you to navigate out of the treacherous waters. Internet explorer cannot tell you if the website owner is worth your trust or not.  As the identity of the website does not give you a full security picture, you have to engage in some more research before choosing the service.  What you want is an authorized payment service provider that uses advanced security measures and provides a risk-free payment gateway. Do not be lazy, and read the privacy policy every time. A Trust-E logo indicates that your information will remain confidential, and that it will not be sold to others.

You can always keep your eyes open for advice and recommendations from family and friends. Even better, stick to the service you found reliable in the past. Alas, that is not always the option, and we have to look for new solutions and possibilities. Therefore, be careful when giving ID and password information. Avoid pushy emails that try to trick you into doing things like upgrading your account for some extra EV certificates. The thing is that web browsers already support them, so there is no need to do anything. Finally, keep records of all your transactions and track credit card changes for any fishy transfers.  

Play it safe

The ease of shopping online should not make you careless and improvident.  Be vigilant instead, and find out whether the connection is private and encrypted. Keep your eyes open for signals and signs that point out to the authority and validity of security measures. You want your information to go precisely where you sent it, and your money to arrive in a safe haven as soon as possible. Best practices like fraud protection and fund remittance should enable you to stay on the safe side and transfer your money efficiently. In other words, the service must be as sound as a dollar. But, even then, there is no need to throw caution to the wind.  

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