By Swendrisa Peter
Cybercrime has become a real issue and no one is immune to it, both consumers and businesses bear the brunt. Crime is a real risk, so we need to be protected when paying online. Credit card crime often happens without the criminals having the credit card, instead, they have the credit card information.
What do small business owners think? We spoke with Jonathan, a small business owner about his first-hand experiences with online payments and fraud.
Learn more about online business payment safety
Why the huge increase in online payments in South Africa in recent years? This is due to cell phone payments, astounding growth in e-commerce, and increased money movements worldwide.
So, how can we protect our online transactions? The best way is to follow the below advice to protect yourself whenever you use a desktop computer or cell phone.
Install an advanced anti-malware program
Some malware programs head for weak spots in the operating system and web browsers to steal your financial data on devices like desktop computers. Running a System Mechanic security optimiser will be able to detect and fix such weaknesses.
Use only secured connections on the internet
Only use a secured connection when the URL begins with “https://” and avoid URLs beginning with “http://”. Check this out with bank websites. Sometimes you’ll see a padlock or lock icon at the start of a URL, indicating that it’s using “https://” and is therefore secure.
Only access trusted websites
Do you need to buy supplies for your business? Are you looking to get better deals from new suppliers? Never make an online payment to any just website. Make sure that you know and trust the website before sharing your personal and card details. A trustworthy website has a payment gateway trusted by card companies like Visa and Mastercard. It should have advanced security features that block any financial information from going to any online criminal.
Most major companies that have e-commerce features will protect you. For example, websites that use the Yoco Gateway to process customer payments are protected with world-class security features.
Is it okay to use my credit card for online shopping?
Just be careful – don’t use a debit card but a credit card when doing online shopping. Your business credit card is linked to your business bank account, making things most risky.
Credit cards have a spending limit, so they can't be misused. It’s also easy to contest any fraudulent transactions made with a credit card, but not so with debit cards. It’s much more difficult to recover funds stolen from a debit card. Actually, credit cards have been specifically created for online payments.
Avoid making payments at an internet cafe
Never make an online payment using a public computer, but always use your computer or cell phone. Criminals can fiddle with the hardware or software of public computers.
Choose complex and difficult passwords
Don’t make a password easy so that it can be guessed, like your cell phone number. Many people can get hold of it and may try it. Instead, use special and alphanumeric characters, ensuring that the password length exceeds six digits.
What if someone misused your credit card?
Immediately contact your bank. Remember to always make credit card transactions with reputable vendors.
Swendrisa Peter is the Head of Risk and Compliance for Yoco