Today, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Secure Online Payment Options

As the Internet continues to expand as a standard way of business for millions around the world, it also expands as a target for identity and financial theft. As an online consumer, it is crucial to be aware of the steps to take to protect your personal identity and financial information. If you intend to shop online, consider the following secure payment strategies as they will protect your personal information from online predators.

One of the most widely accepted forms of online payment that also offers a variety of security features is Paypal. In order to work with the Paypal program, consumers must link their bank account or credit card information to their online account, with the added step of verification of funds before the account becomes active. Paypal will deposit 2 small amounts into the account in which the consumer must verify on the Paypal site by entering the exact deposit amounts prior to the account use. Then, when shopping at participating online retailers, they can pay for items using their Paypal account, meaning that they do not need to share their personal banking or credit card information with the merchant.

Security Codes
One simple step that many online merchants are using to secure their online shopping for consumers is the requirement of the 3 or 4 digit code on the front or the back of the consumer’s credit card. In the event that someone steals an individual’s credit or debit card information, unless they have the physical card in their presence or had the opportunity to also view the code that is located on the back or the front of the credit card, the transaction will not be verified.
Another recently added code required frequently when consumers are filling up their gas station is the billing zip code. This added requirement is working to prevent petty credit or debit card theft for many consumers.

Verified By Programs
While no online system is completely free of online theft opportunities, several credit card merchant companies are working on more secure online shopping solutions. One such program is the “Verified By” program offered by both Visa and Mastercard. In order to shop at these participating merchants, the consumer must enrol in their program, requiring the registration of a user ID and a password. This information must then be entered on the participating merchant’s site in order to process a transaction with the furnished credit card information.
While identity theft and financial theft will likely never disappear, there are steps that consumers can take that will add protection for them when they are shopping online. The most important step to take is to become aware of the possibility of this type of theft. Increased awareness can offer the ability to catch issues or unsecure sites, ultimately protecting the financial information of the consumer. Also, utilizing the systems such as Paypal, Verified By programs and security codes can also work to protect the online consumer. While no system is ever 100% foolproof, these proven steps will increase the odds of this type of theft occurring.

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