The advent of technology has sparked an evolution in various industries. The digital payments segment is no exception. While digital payments aren't an entirely new concept, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of payment methods such as UPI (unified payments interface), credit/debit cards, mobile banking, etc, across the country.
While these are highly convenient and largely secure ways, it's best to exercise caution when you make online payments given the increased cases of cybersecurity breaches.
Here are five tips to ensure secure digital payment transactions.
Avoid saving card details
Although this seems basic, it is crucial to ensure that your debit/credit card details are not saved when you make purchases online. Many of us tend to save the details to avoid entering all the details from scratch in the future and enable quicker payments. However, it is best to erase your card information after completing your online purchase to ensure it isn't prone to the risk of being stolen.
Use a private window for transactions
The most effective way to protect yourselves while making digital payments is by avoiding suspicious apps and websites and always relying on trusted official apps suggested in the app store.
Abhishek Soni, CEO and co-founder, Upwards said, "Using a private/virtual browser and secure connections that start with HTTPS:// for transactions will enhance financial security. They are designed to offer safe online banking and prevent cookies and credentials from being stored. Besides, it is important to make sure you log out of the page once you have completed the transaction for further safety."
Don't share passwords
This is a common advice but integral to preserving your financial security. Passwords of your Internet banking accounts should be extra strong, must never be shared with anyone, and need to be changed regularly to avoid falling prey to cyber-attacks. Also, be sure to inform your bank in case you receive phony calls from anyone asking for details such as your passwords or ATM PIN. Furthermore, it would be best to use one-time passwords (OTP) to complete your transactions as they are more secure.
Praveen Dhabhai, COO, Payworld said, "An individual should always use debit/credit cards on trusted websites and apps, never share OTP with anyone to safeguard the transaction. Furthermore, one must always use a virtual keyboard and logout from websites on completion of transactions."
Avoid public computers/WiFi networks
When making online transactions it would bode well to avoid using public devices or WiFi networks since they are more prone to cyber-attacks, theft, and other fraudulent activities. It is also important to use only reputed, verified websites. Trusted websites often offer higher levels of protection for online payment transactions.
Anil Pinapala, founder, Vivifi India Finance Private Limited said, "Even if you are in a hurry, avoid making cashless transactions from a public computer or using a public WiFi network. Such transactions are highly unsafe and expose you to data theft, which is becoming increasingly common. Make sure you use a personal computer and a trusted WiFi source for all financial transactions."
Beware of fraudulent apps
There are many illegitimate apps on the App Store and Play Store. Fortunately, these can be identified through multiple negative reviews, a low number of downloads, and the lack of a 'verified' badge.
Soni said, "When you download applications on your smartphone, ensure that it is a verified one either on the App Store or the Play Store. Even for mobile banking or mobile wallet applications, it needs to be legitimate. If the app asks for permission for the camera, phone contacts, SMS reading, etc, exercise caution before installing it or deny access." – Mint New Delhi/TNS