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12 Security measures you must take when using digital payments to avoid scams

Loretta Kilday

Loretta Kilday

Spokesperson, Debt Consolidation Care

Digital payments are a practical choice for many customers, ranging from credit cards to mobile wallets and everything in between. However, users must take additional security precautions to protect themselves when making digital payments, as online transactions are susceptible to data breaches and other security flaws. Here are a few preventive measures to protect your money when making digital payments.

1. Activate two-factor authentication

Customers should use SMS-based two-factor authentication to prevent account takeovers that could result in payment fraud since hacking attempts are on the rise. Only the customer gets the one-time password code through SMS, which is required to log in to a digital payment app or website, even if the user's original password is leaked or stolen. This safeguard prevents illegal access to accounts.

2. Check your financial statements frequently

The most basic security precaution for digital payments is checking your statements, yet many consumers ignore it. Regularly performing this can help you identify any irregularities. Question and/or contest a charge immediately if you don't recognise it. 

3. Check QR codes twice

Make sure a QR code has not been pasted over with another (possibly dangerous) code before scanning it, especially if it is on printed material in a public setting. A malicious QR code that exposes your bank account details when scanned can quickly replace a valid QR code used for payment (at a point of sale, ATM, parking meter).

4. Check the recipient of your payment

Recipient verification is a straightforward and essential operational security feature that everyone making digital payments needs to use. The checks and balances we are accustomed to with more traditional payment methods are absent from many digital payment systems; for example, money sent to the incorrect location or recipient may never be recovered. To prevent this from happening to you, ask the recipient to submit a payment request. 

Suppose you have enrolled in a credit card consolidation program. As per the program, you are required to make monthly payments to the credit card consolidation company. Thereforeyou decide to make payments through your e-wallet. In that case, ask the credit card consolidation company to send a payment request to you. It will help you avoid paying the wrong person or organisation. 

5. Use popular and trustworthy apps

Use only trustworthy apps for digital payments. Consider setting security features as well as transaction notifications. For extra precaution, you can enable notifications for any cards linked to the app. Oftenpeople choose convenience over security, but they pay a heavy price.

6. Choose a specific payment method for digital payments

The best security precaution is to keep track of your transactions. Use one credit card or payment method for all online purchases to make this simple.

Do not use the same card or payment method for any other transactions. Verify that your card has fraud protection, and compare your bills to your online purchases to ensure irregularities are simple to find. 

For example, you should choose only one payment method for monthly credit card consolidation payments. It will help you know how much you have paid and when.

7. Use biometric authentication when possible

Make sure to select a secure authentication technique. If the authentication technique is entirely based on convenience, then criminals will probably find it convenient (such as, not requiring a pin for credit card transactions). When using an authentication technique, employ biometrics. This lowers the likelihood that stolen credit cards or phones will be valuable to thieves.

8. Exercise caution with linked checking accounts

Consumers are typically effectively protected from fraud liability when using connected credit card accounts, but linked checking account protection is not necessarily the same. Customers who use checking account-linked services can guard against losses by connecting to a backup account with minimum balances. To consolidate funds, transfer to and from a core account.

9. Make sure your supplier complies with PCI DSS

Make that your vendor complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS); the greater the certification level, the better. It is crucial that the vendor of your choice follows all the latest trends and not only obtains but also continuously maintains cybersecurity certificates as security standards evolve. The key message for customers is to always confirm the vendor's security procedures before making a payment.

10. Keep passwords unique

Numerous breaches occur each day. Once a criminal has stolen information, they may be able to log into any additional accounts using the same login and password. Please stop using the same passwords several times, and check your credentials for exposure using one of the free apps that compares them to a constantly updated database of data breaches.

11. Provide just enough personal information

Just the bare minimum of personal information should be provided. Consider your options if information requested is intrusive or pointless.. Banks and other financial institutions typically cover the financial risk, but it is up to individuals to protect themselves from identity theft.

12. Investigate SSL encryption

To ensure their safety when utilising an online payment method, consumers should check if the page is HTTPS-based (uses SSL to encrypt the transaction). This may be done right away by looking at the beginning of the payment page's URL, which should display "HTTPS://" or a lock icon.

Final note

To avoid giving out your bank account information directly to any point of sale, you should use a credit card for any transaction. Credit card issuers insure your money, so you may quickly get your money back if something goes wrong. It may take up to 60 days for your bank to refund you if a fraudulent charge is made to your debit card.

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