Fears over the possible consequences of making a bad online transaction are among the most ubiquitous in the world. We are all too familiar with the high risk of providing a point of entry to that shadowy figure so widely referred to as the ‘cybercriminal’.
But, despite our trepidation, many of us remain very much in-the-dark over the sheer scope of risks posed to internet users – and how they can impact us as we carry out our everyday routine online.
For many of us, safety rarely extends beyond using a widely trusted online payment method, such as PayPal. With these, we can put our faith into a middleman, and, for the most part, forget about the potential consequences of our online transactions.
Still, this is far from ideal – particularly as the online landscape continues to evolve, and the ways in which we utilize the internet change alongside it. Read more below.
Understand That Protecting Your Money Necessitates A Comprehensive Approach!
Online transactions must, under all circumstances, be guided by your ability to recognise potential pitfalls into which we can all too easily fall. Some are, of course, more obvious than others; some attract higher levels of attention, while others can all too easily slip under our collective radar and trip up the most unsuspecting of internet users.
In essence, and both on and offline, there exists a wide array of potential threats, rather than one singular threat with one singular solution. As a result, protecting your transactions means more than deploying, say, one piece of software designed to protect against malware; it means understanding what questions you need to ask yourself in order to ensure that you will not be vulnerable to a wide variety of pitfalls, in any number of scenarios.
Know What Questions to Ask, And When
These questions will differ significantly depending on the situation. For instance, the more obvious examples come from online shopping; if you are purchasing from a new and unfamiliar site, then you need to ask yourself, is their trust score sufficient? And, do their accepted payment processes demonstrate a genuine concern for customer safety?
If you enjoy spending time at online casinos, then similar questions over legitimacy and payment methods should be applied to every new site you venture onto. If, however, you are already comfortable with the legitimacy of any given site, then the question is how much can you win in a casino without paying taxes – otherwise, you could be in violation of federal law.
While these two examples represent just a small part of our overall internet usage, they offer plenty of insight into just how reflective an approach we must take in order to ensure that our online transactions do not suffer from weak points. Whether those weak points offer a ‘way in’ for opportunistic cyber criminals, or simply a vulnerability to the more traditional pitfalls into which on- and offline transactions so often fall, we all need to take a far more comprehensive approach to securing our transactions against setbacks.
Evolve Alongside The Internet Itself
In days gone by, utilising a strong password was widely regarded as one of the most effective ways of protecting your personal accounts, and sensitive information. Nowadays, however, in a perfect example of the ways in which the internet continues to evolve (and, with it, the potential risks of being online), it has become all too clear that a password is no longer sufficient protection.
Additional measures, such as two-factor authentication, the use of an effective VPN and utilising passcodes on your smartphone, for instance, all represent much more reliable methods for protecting accounts through which money or digital assets pass. As such, online transactions should not take place without these measures in place.
What’s more, an increasing number of online transactions are being carried out via blockchain technology – something which tends to either intrigue, or confound, internet users. Via blockchain, we are able to utilise a growing number of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, which offer a long list of benefits over traditional payment methods.
This technology is being utilised across a wide range of spheres, and by some big names in the world of online payment services. While its uptake among more mainstream internet groups has been slow, recent surges in interest are leading the world of virtual currencies to a new level of significance.
By all accounts, cryptocurrency is set to define a new age of internet transactions, and ensure that we are all able to feel safe and secure as we increase our dependence on the internet going forward. As internet users, we should be prepared to evolve alongside these trends in order to ensure that we do not fall vulnerable to pitfalls.