Going to a physical store is gradually becoming a thing of the past, as we can purchase any item online. However, with the rise in online shopping, data thieves are becoming more creative in ways to steal and misuse your payment information. That is why knowing the safe payment methods and ensuring security during these transactions are essential. Read along to discover this.
Everyone enjoys the convenience of making a purchase online using their card details. You don’t have to leave your home, as the vendor can deliver your purchased item to your home with just a few taps on your device. However, anytime you place these orders, there’s a possibility that your data is unsafe and can threaten your internet life.
That is why prioritizing your online security should be your top goal during these transactions. In this post, we have highlighted some of the safest payment methods available today. You will also discover a valuable weapon that can help enhance your security during these purchases.
What Does a Secure Payment Mean?
A secure payment guarantees the protection of your payment details and follows a transparent payment process. That means the security of your online payment depends on the payment method available on the site and how the site plans on using your bank details.
You can tell if your sensitive data will be safe during a payment process by checking the reliability of the e-commerce site. Confirm this through the official trust seals on the checkout page. These seals show that the site can protect your information during a purchase. It’s a way for you to know that you can put your trust in them regarding your online security.
Making a secure payment also relates to how reliable the site is. Fortunately, you can quickly recognize this through the website’s URL. The site’s URL must start with the HTTPS protocol. This security protocol ensures a secure connection between you and the site, protecting all activities done on that site, including purchases. It’s important to note that a secure site starts with HTTPS, not HTTP, as this might need clarification.
Quick List: Safe Online Payment Methods
Just want to have a quick look at the safest online payment platforms; read below;
|1. Debit Cards||Spending on a budget||Controls your spending, has no annual fees||Limited fraud protection, it connects directly to your bank account|
|2. Credit Cards||Increasing your credit score||Protects against fraud, credit building||Incurs debt on users, transactions are linked to your bank account|
|3. Prepaid Cards||Budgeting expenses||Separate from your bank account; reduces financial risk, controls spending||Transaction fees, balance restrictions|
|4. Third-Party Payment Processors||Secure payments, International transaction||Protects sensitive information, aids international transactions||Not accepted in all countries, Charges transaction fees|
|5. Digital Wallets||Online shopping||Uses transaction ID, convenient and quick payments||Device compatibility issues, are not taken by all e-commerce sites|
|6. Mobile Payment Apps||Peer-to-peer transfer, quick payment option in physical stores||Suitable for quick transactions, enhanced security, allows fast transfers||Country limitation, device compatibility issues|
|7. Cryptocurrency||Investment, international transaction||It provides privacy, allows international transactions, creates investment opportunities||Price volatility, requires technical knowledge, not widely accepted|
Detailed List: Safe Online Payment Methods
In today’s world, the internet is the home of most transactions. This makes it important to know the payment options available. Here are the safest online payment methods you can find today:
1. Debit Cards
|Overspending is impossible, as you can only spend what is in your bank account||Some debit cards usually come with spending limits|
|You can use it to withdraw cash at ATMs||It does not guarantee fraud protection|
|No annual fee attached||Your bank account is at risk as the card is directly linked to it|
Debit cards are payment cards issued by your financial institution that allow you to withdraw money directly from your bank account. A convenient way to carry cash around, this card only lets you spend what is already available in your bank account.
2. Credit Cards
|It provides strong protection against fraud and unauthorized use||You may incur debts if you don’t spend responsibly|
|It can help you build your credit score||All your online transactions are linked to your bank account|
|Most online platforms accept payment with it|
You can get a credit card from your financial institution, like a debit card. The difference between these two cards is the money being spent. While a debit card only permits you to spend what you own, a credit card lets you spend what you owe. It enables you to borrow money from the institution with an agreement to pay it back with interest.
3. Prepaid Cards
|Separates your online transactions from your bank account||There is a limit to how much you can store on the card|
|It can help control your online purchases||There is a charge associated with any transaction made using the card|
|It minimizes financial risks|
To use a Prepaid card, you need to deposit money into it. You can only spend the amount that has been loaded onto it. This can help you manage your spending by performing any payment operation with your loaded balance. Once the balance gets used up, you can quickly reload it online or with an ATM.
4. Third-Party Payment Gateways
|It prevents your card details from getting exposed||It charges extra fees for any transactions|
|Aids in international transactions||Not generally accepted in all countries|
Third-party payment gateways act like an agent that prevents you from exposing your credit/debit card details to the online vendor. When you open an account on this platform, you fill in your card details. So, for every online transaction you make, money is sent directly from your bank account to the vendor’s account while hiding your card information. Examples of such platforms include PayPal, Stax, Stripe, and Square.
5. Digital Wallets
|Instead of the cardholder’s details, it uses a transaction ID||Its apps may not work well with your device|
|The payment process is fast and easy||Some online sites may not accept it|
|Perfect for all your online and physical purchases|
Digital wallets, also called e-wallets, let you store all your cards in the cloud, similar to how you use a real wallet. You can add your credit and debit cards to the app and fund your account to use for online shopping. It also lets you add other cards like public transportation passes and coupons. Classic examples are Google Pay and Apple Pay.
6. Mobile Payment Apps
|It’s easy to use these apps to pay with your phone||It might not work with your phone|
|They have good security, like two-factor authentication||Not widely accepted everywhere|
Mobile payment apps let you use your phone to pay for any item online. Many third-party payment platforms and digital wallets have handy apps to make quick payments. These apps have security features, like two-factor authentication, to protect your information. Venmo, Cash App, and Zelle are typical examples of this.
|Perfect for international transfers||Crypto prices fluctuate a lot|
|You don’t need to provide your bank details||Many online vendors don’t take crypto|
|It can be a good investment|
Cryptocurrency provides a private space for you to perform your transactions online. It involves making crypto payments via a gateway app like BitPay and CoinGate. The online merchant should be willing to accept this method as payment before you can use it.
Are Online Transactions Risk-free?
Sadly, no. You may unintentionally expose yourself to malicious internet users when you enter your details on the payment platform. Cases of card fraud, identity theft, and phishing attacks have been on the rise, threatening online users’ safety during these transactions.
Statista estimates that the e-commerce sector will lose 48 billion U.S. dollars in 2023 due to online payment fraud. With all these risks, prioritizing our security should always come first during these online transactions.
Ten Effective Tips to Ensure Your Online Operations are Safe
Here are ten practical tips that can guarantee a safe and secure transaction as an online merchant:
1. Choose a Safe Payment Platform
The payment platform you pick is in charge of managing your website and all sales operations. This means you are not solely responsible for managing the possible online threats; your chosen platform has a part to play. Ensure your platform offers a secure and reliable service so you won’t worry about your business data safety.
2. Obtain a Cyber Insurance
As your business grows, more online transactions will happen, increasing the customer data you must safeguard. As you protect these data, you must also protect yourself from any financial loss that possible online threats can cause. Good cyber insurance can help protect your business from expenses caused by a data breach or cyber attack.
3. Store Sensitive Data with a Third Party
Storing your customers’ sensitive data, like their credit card details, on your site increases the risk of their digital lives getting threatened. Instead, a third-party payment platform can help mitigate these risks. This third-party platform will store your customers’ details and ensure that all payment operations occur without issues.
4. Use Multi-factor Authentication
Adding multi-factor authentication to your site provides extra security to your customers. Just like we see on our social media apps, this feature can help prevent any third party from accessing critical financial data without authorization.
5. Don’t Store Buyers’ Information
It’s best to avoid saving customers’ transaction information on your system to prevent them from being the target of cybercriminals. There will be little to no information about your customers online, so you can run your online operations worry-free. Consider using a third-party platform that assures optimum data protection to store these data.
6. Have a Verification System
Ensure you monitor every purchase that a user makes on your site from your end. By implementing an identity verification system, you can quickly tell whether a user is purchasing the item or an unauthorized person. Users will need to use a form of identification like a passport to make sure they are the ones making the transaction.
7. Don’t Take Security for Granted
One mistake you can make as an online vendor is to underrate the importance of security in your business. Adding SSL to your site can help secure and protect your customers’ personal information. It will prevent any malicious internet user from seeing or stealing the data available on your site.
8. Get a Hosting Provider that Implements Security Measures
You can never go wrong with having multiple security measures to protect your digital operations. Apart from using SSL, it’s also advisable to get a trustworthy hosting service that can save you from DDOS and malware attacks and detect vulnerabilities in your site.
9. Comply with PCI Security Standards
Cyber threats put your business data at risk. To avoid them, ensure you comply with security standards when handling customers’ data. For example, PCI data security standards enable you to protect the card information your customers store on your site during payments.
10. Let Your Users Know About Security and VPNs
Letting only the online vendor take care of the transaction security is one-sided. Customers also have a part to play to ensure their data doesn’t face cyber threats. That’s why encouraging your users to use a reliable VPN service, like ExtremeVPN, can help ensure their safety online.
How Can You Choose a Secure Online Payment Method
You may wonder, “How do I choose a suitable payment method that guarantees online security?” Worry no more! Below are some points you should keep in mind when confirming the reliability of a payment platform:
- User Experience: You should get an easy, positive experience when paying through the platform. Also, if it offers real-time monitoring, that is a bonus, as you can see every payment operation you perform.
- Security: When making a payment online, you must be assured that you are guarded against security risks such as fraud and transaction failures. Your chosen platform should be able to guarantee this protection as well as comply with PCI security standards.
- Transaction Costs: Most payment platforms attach extra charges for every payment you make. Consider one that assures you of a low-cost transaction fee for a high-value transaction.
- Assistance: There should be a go-to place on the platform if you have any problems. You should ensure your payment platform offers round-the-clock live online support at any moment.
The Three Foundations of a Safe Online Payment Process
As an e-commerce website owner, three essential elements can help you create a secure customer checkout process. They include:
Cybercriminals are always searching for an opening in your system that lets them steal your users’ data. Hence, your payment platform must be well-secured to protect your business and customers. A strong encryption and authentication protocol on your checkout platform can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
2. Fraud Management
Fraud is a significant element that all businesses should tackle. Incorporating a reliable fraud management system will require you to adjust the payment method you offer and let you verify a buyer’s identity before any transaction. These adjustments will protect your customers’ data and build your business’ reputation.
Depending on your country, there are specific security standards regarding users’ data and privacy that you should adhere to. An example of a globally accepted standard is the PCI DSS compliance. It sets the minimum standard required to protect a cardholder’s information from data theft.
Enhance Your Online Transactions’ Security with a VPN
Making any payment online without necessary protection is similar to setting the playground for hackers to come. That is why a VPN always comes in handy. Connecting to a VPN grants you the following benefits:
- Invisibility: One thing a reliable VPN never fails to do is to hide your online identity. It does this by hiding your actual IP address and giving you a new one, which, in turn, changes your online location.
- Data protection: A VPN converts your information into unreadable data for every online activity through encryption. Anyone trying to access any of your data won’t even be able to understand what they are seeing, making the data useless to them.
- Privacy: By staying anonymous and encrypting your online traffic, a VPN grants you a bulletproof shield that prevents any outsider from knowing what you’re doing online.
How To Choose the Perfect VPN for Your Transactions Online
As you choose a safe payment method to use online, consider choosing a reliable VPN service to use alongside it. Regardless of how secure a payment method is, a VPN always provides an extra layer of security that takes it to a higher level. So, if you want to select a VPN provider to use, there are essential features it must have:
- Global Server Coverage: A VPN with many servers in more countries can guarantee a fast network speed and more coverage.
- Industry-leading Encryption: You should use a VPN with the standard AES-256-bit, which can turn your data into a secret code.
- Robust Security Features: Certain features like IPv6 leak protection, DNS leak protection, kill switch, and split tunneling are security features that typically indicate that a VPN can keep you safe online.
- Strict No-log Policy: Whatever activity you perform online should be known to you alone. That is why a reliable VPN service should not store your online data.
- 24/7 Online Support: A trusted VPN service should always be available to answer any question you have promptly.
Fortunately, you don’t have to search the web for a VPN that fits this criteria, as we can recommend one for you right here — ExtremeVPN. ExtremeVPN has all the above features, granting you unmatched protection against online predators.
Also, the step to setting it up on your device is straightforward:
- Subscribe to your preferred plan and create your ExtremeVPN account.
- Download the ExtremeVPN app that is perfect for your device. We have apps that work on iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.
- Launch the app and connect to your preferred server location.
A trustworthy VPN that values privacy should be your top choice if security is your top priority during online payments. ExtremeVPN promises you the best protection services for all your transactions online.
There are different secure means of making online payments on a site. You can use your credit/debit card or a digital wallet. You may even find sites that allow users to pay with crypto coins.
Regardless of your payment method, being careful about the information we put online is never a bad idea. Also, ensuring the site is secure and reliable can reduce the chance of any online threat.
Don’t forget to use a VPN for extra protection. ExtremeVPN is a faithful ally that helps encrypt all your online data, including sensitive information and takes your online security to the next level.