Here are 6 quick steps to protect your digital transactions

Online payment options and real-time transactions have been hugely popular with consumers. However, cybercriminals have made online transactions another means of deceiving consumers. Payment Fraud have become much more sophisticated over the years, making it increasingly difficult for consumers to identify them.

According to the recent RBI report, bank fraud of Rs 100,000 and above more than doubled in value to Rs 1.85 lakh crore in FY20 from Rs 71,500 crore in FY19, as well as the number of such cases having increased by 28% in the same period. But with the steady rise of digital transactions, online payments have become an integral part of our lives. In this scenario, it is imperative to undertake some cybersecurity measures for a safer experience.

Here are six best practices you can adopt to avoid being cheated when paying online:

1. Avoid chatting with strangers online and disclosing your finances: Banks do not request personal information by phone, email or text message. Therefore, avoid sharing PINs, passwords, OTPs, or your organization’s financial information without proper verification with anyone, even close people.

2. Make sure the website is safe: When making a payment, especially on a new website, Before entering your card details at checkouts and on payment pages, check the padlock symbol in the top left corner of the taskbar. The green padlock is a simple visual queue indicating to the end user that the website is secure. Another way to detect that the website has strong security is by using their URLs. If the URL begins with https instead of http, the website is considered to have a secure connection.

3. Beware of phishing scams: Phishing scams have reached an all-time high across the world. Through this method, attackers send emails and messages that impersonate well-known entities like service provider or bank etc. which are difficult to tell apart if you are not careful. To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, always check hyperlink URLs before clicking or entering sensitive information. It is possible that the text of the hyperlink is different from the one to which the URL redirects, which could be a download link or a different website with an identical design.

4. Read privacy policies and resist the pressure: Although long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere. Additionally, resisting the pressure to act immediately as a legitimate business will give you time to make a decision.

5. Beware of questionable payment methods: Recent scams in online payments have been growing with strangers getting involved in the respective payment stores, requesting real-time OTPs via a phone call while standing on hold. Never relay information or accept payment instructions from a stranger during an online transaction. If the person insists, immediately cancel the transaction and file a complaint with the authorities.

6. After making your payments, check: A harmless way to stay safe is to always check and verify your transactions via electronic invoices and email alerts. With advances in mobile banking, one can check in seconds whether the correct transaction has been made through their account details.

Amid increasing scams, it’s important that you stay aware of your surroundings and are up to date on recent types of fraudulent activity. Although you have been out of danger by acting appropriately, it is essential that you educate your family and friends and keep them safe from any kind of cyber crime activities. Stay safe, stay smart!

Published in the Public Interest by Razorpay

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