How to secure your online transactions

Never access your account at a cyber cafe or a shared computer as you can never be sure how you are being monitored, or what spy software might be installed on those machines. Instead, always use your home computer for security reasons

* Always update your operating system for security patches. Also use a reputed anti-virus and update it on regular basis

* When choosing a password for your banking accounts, choose something that is sufficiently long and that includes upper and lower case, numbers and even special characters. Refrain from using your birthdates or names of loved ones as passwords as these can easily be guessed

* Be wary of any emails that ask you to update your bank account information. They could be an attempt at ‘phishing’ (obtaining your password or other information illegally), which could result in identity theft, unauthorized purchases or compromise of your account Additionally, don’t click on any link that you receive in your email even if it appears to be from your bank. Instead, make it a point to remember the URL, and type it manually in the address bar before making any transactions.

* Phishing scammers create web sites that look and feel authentic, and they usually lure victims through emails with links that lead to the fraudulent web sites

* Check SSL (Secure Socket Layer)/ https security on login page of bank’s web site. The ‘s ‘ after the ‘http’ denotes that the site is secure. In case of secured sites, the website address would start as ‘https:\\ … ‘. Similarly, look for signs that an online shopping site is identity verified and SSL secured to protect your credit card and personal information. Most browsers will mark a secure site by displaying a padlock icon somewhere on the frame of the browser window. Look for that icon before making any transactions. If you’re not sure, check with someone who knows. It’s better to play safe, than be sorry

* Notify your credit-card provider/bank immediately of any unauthorized use of your credit card/debit card from an online transaction. Don’t waste any time in taking action. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to resolve the situation, especially if you’ve been lured into an online scam or have become a victim of identity theft tAvoid making online transactions with unknown businesses, or those that do not clearly state their policies regarding your privacy

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