Increase in online shopping

by Lorraine Williamson
online shopping

Since the pandemic, online shopping is one of the services that has grown the most. During the lockdown, people were getting used to ordering items on the internet.

However, as with anything, there are always scammers out there trying to steal your money, or personal information. The Internet Security Office (OSI – Oficina de seguridad del Internauta) has detailed how to make online purchases using different payment methods, but without ending up being scammed when shopping online.

Secure websites

Now, every website should carry an SSL certificate. This will show on the URL search bar as https, and there will also be an icon of a padlock. If the website only shows http, then it does not have the certificate. In this case, there will usually be a warning to this effect advising the site is not secure.

online payments

Making a credit card payment over the internet

Most items now can be purchased online using a debit or credit card. Initially, when you register as a shopper on a website, you will be asked to complete certain details.

This will include the following;

  • Name of cardholder
  • Number on card
  • Expiry date

CVV code (the 3-digit number on the back of your card)

Although this is asking for personal banking details, it is a secure method, and your information is protected. This is the case, if you are transferred to a bank payment site, or as mentioned above, a secure website.

Payments with an intermediary via the Internet

Another of the most common payment methods when shopping online is the use of trusted companies that act as intermediaries (PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, or Apple Pay). These organisations collaborate with various sellers; therefore, the data goes to the intermediary instead of multiple sellers. This keeps your information safe.

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Online scams

Cybercriminals often resort to fraudulent emails and text messages, pretending to be a recognised organisation. They do this with the sole purpose of obtaining your information. Therefore, it is important to know how to identify this type of email or message.

Contactless and smartphone payments

We can also make payments in shops and supermarkets using a card and the contactless method. This can also be done if you have your card linked to your Google or Apple account. It works much the same way as with the intermediary method above.

Most mobile devices that come onto the market have a built-in chip with NFC technology that allows us to make contactless payments, in the same way as many cards.

Bizum

Bizum is a type of technology that many banking entities have begun to use to create their own apps.  You can download the app and use it to transfer small amounts of money from one mobile device to another.

Bizum’s security depends on the security of our online banking application itself since it is integrated directly into the applications of our banks. Normally, these applications are very secure, since they have encryption systems and double verification to authorise any payment from the app.

However, frauds are common where cybercriminals pose as banks, the Administration or even NGOs, requesting payments by Bizum via SMS. Given the ease and speed with which we can make these types of transfers, it is essential that we pay special attention to whom we are sending our money to.

Also read: Online fraud

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