Many people believe that the importance of secure transactions in two folds: security and privacy. After all, when you transact online, there is usually a third party involved, which poses a risk to your private information. These are all true statements, but they’re not complete explanations.
An online transaction is a form of non-physical transaction, which makes it more vulnerable than a physical transaction. Imagine what would happen if you entered your credit card number over the internet into a credit-card company’s website. Do you think they would be able to keep your information secure? Of course not!
Some companies offer virtual connections to the internet, which are only as secure as the weakest link in the chain. If your internet connection is down or if someone has tampered with your computer, your information is still vulnerable. It’s no different than a physical transaction.
Just as you don’t give your banking information to the same person that you give your financial institution, you also don’t want to provide them with this information. Since so much of our transactions these days take place online, there is a large risk that someone else could get their hands on your sensitive information and use it for their own purposes. If the financial institution itself has no way of securing your information, they won’t be able to protect you.
Now that we know the importance of secure transactions, let’s talk about the specific types of transactions that they cover. You’ll find some obvious details here, and others that you might need to add to your own personal list.
One of the most common ways that personal information is stolen from consumers is when people give their banking information out in exchange for an item or service. If you’re thinking of giving your credit card number or bank account numbers to a site to check out, make sure you’ve read up on the security of those details. There are some sites out there that offer this service for free, but there are also sites that will ask for a small fee, in return for your personal information.
Most security experts believe that these free sites are using the same information as the paid sites but have been paid less attention to. By giving your personal information to a free site, you are putting yourself at great risk.
There are a variety of ways that online payment sites can get your information, but there are three that are particularly popular. They are:
A variation of the above is when a site asks you to download something and if you agree, they give you a download link that they use to redirect your information to another site. In some cases, your payment information might be part of the download. You should be aware that if you don’t keep your credit card safe and locked away somewhere, that your online payment information could be used for unauthorized purchases.
As you are probably aware, most credit card numbers are sent over the internet. There are ways to safeguard that information, however. If you’re willing to pay for protection, many financial institutions offer it as a means of protecting your information.
One last example of how secure transactions play a role in protecting your information comes from purchases made in a brick and mortar store. Many credit card companies will require you to enter a PIN for each purchase you make. While most of us enter our information correctly at one time or another, if your information changes, you may not be able to use the same PIN for each transaction.
In most cases, it will be a trial period or a need to verify your identity before your card is issued to you. This is the most secure method available to prevent credit card fraud and provides your information a little bit of extra protection from thieves and identity thieves.